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Civil War on the western border, 1 

3 ^153 00715065 1 

y 7 ^ v* nc*^c*+ (/ a+<l. 

Books by Jay Monaghan 

Bibliography of Lincolniana, 1 839-1 939 

Diplomat in Carpet Slippers: Lincoln Deals with Foreign Affairs 

Last of the Bad Men: The Legend of Tom Horn 

The Overland Trail 

This Is Illinois 

The Great Rascal: The Life and Adventures of Ned Buntline 

Civil War on the Western Border: 1 854-1 865 

Civil War on the 

Western Border 

Civil War on the 
Western Border 





Boston • Little, Brown and Company • Toronto 






Published June 1955 
Reprinted July J 955 


Published simultaneously in Canada 
by Little, Brown & Company {Canada) Limited 



On a pac\ trip up Divide Cree\ the horses 
got away, and Lloyd enlivened a long hunt 
with flavorful anecdotes about the five 
years of Civil War which raged along the 
Western border before spreading across the 
nation. These stories and years of companion- 
ship with Lloyd were the seed of this boo\. 


i A Challenge Accepted 3 

11 It Looks Very Much Like War: 1855 16 

in The Wakarusa War 34 

iv The Crime Against Kansas 45 

v I Went to Take Old Brown and Old Brown Took Me 60 

vi Lane's Army of the North 69 

vii Geary Takes Command 85 

viii Buchanan Tries His Hand 96 

ix He'll Trouble Them More When His Coffin's Nailed Down 107 

x The Election of Abraham Lincoln 117 

xi Lyon Shows Missouri 129 

xii Jefferson City, Boonville, and the Happy Land of Canaan 139 

xiii Battle of Carthage 149 

xiv Born Among the Rocks 159 

xv The Battle of Wilson's Creek 170 

xvi The Fall of Lexington 182 

xvii Osceola, Zagoni, and Fremont's Recall 195 

xviii The Five Nations Secede 209 


xix Slaveholding Indians Declare War 219 

xx I Must Have St. Louis — Then Huzza! 228 

xxi The Battle of Pea Ridge 239 

xxii The Bloodstained Kansas Banner 252 

xxiii The Battle of Prairie Grove 261 

xxiv Quantrill Redresses Gettysburg 274 

xxv Baxter Springs 290 

xxvi Lincoln's Re-election Campaign on the Border 298 

xxvn Cabin Creek and Pilot Knob 307 

xxviii Centralia 316 

xxix The Eve of Austerlitz 320 

xxx The Battle of Westport 329 

xxxi Retreat from Moscow 337 

xxxii Epilogue 346 

Notes 353 

Sources 399 

Acknowledgments 435 

Index 437 

Civil War on the 

Western Border 


A Challenge Accepted 

Abraham Lincoln sat on the edge of his bed talking to Lyle Dickey. The 
day had been a hard one on the Illinois Circuit. Dickey blinked sleepily 
at the yellow candle flame, but Lincoln wanted to talk. News of the pas- 
sage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act by Congress had just been received, and 
Lincoln's deliberate mind would not rest. He had deserted the hustings 
for the more lucrative practice of law, but this act aroused his indignation 
and tempted him to re-enter politics. Dickey fell asleep. Next morning, 
when he awoke, Lincoln sat propped up in bed still talking as though the 
conversation had been uninterrupted. 

Lincoln had watched excitement grow over the Kansas-Nebraska bill 
since its introduction on January 4, 1854, by his political antagonist of 
twenty years' standing, Senator Stephen A. Douglas. The Little Giant, as 
he was called, had concocted the measure to end political turmoil over 
slavery, make him the leader of a reunited Democratic Party and, perhaps, 
President of the United States. His bill's panacea was simple: Quit dis- 
criminating against slaveholding pioneers; open all territories to settlers 
from both North and South, and let them decide by vote whether to ex- 
clude or countenance slavery. What could be fairer than that? 

Douglas understood the rules of equity better than he did the temper 
of the American people. He failed, utterly, to foresee that this doctrine of 
squatter sovereignty would ignite a civil war. 

The Little Giant had reached his eminent position by courage and re- 
sourcefulness. Confidence gleamed from his tailored clothes and highly 
polished boots. If the North reproached him for opening Western terri- 
tories to slavery, he could explain to them that a free economy would tri- 
umph over slavery in a fair contest. The concession, therefore, was nomi- 


nal. Yet, by gaining it, Southerners might feel appeased, and be willing to 
switch their votes to give the North the terminus of the first railroad to 
the Pacific. Surely, hardheaded Yankee money-makers would applaud such 
political logrolling. 

Foremost among the bill's proponents in the Senate was David Rice 
Atchison, a man who, like Douglas, made success a habit, and brooked no 
interference. He had learned that the doctrine of slavery expansion was a 
vote-getter in rural Missouri. On this issue he had defeated his rival, 
Thomas Hart Benton, senior senator, whose German constituents in St. 
Louis clamored for abolition. Flushed with this victory, Atchison foresaw 
the opening of all territories to slavery as the best hope of carrying the in- 
stitution to the Pacific. "We are playing for a mighty stake," he said. 

Douglas and Atchison formed an odd team to pull the Kansas-Nebraska 
bill through Congress. Douglas stood only a fraction over five feet tall, a 
gamecock and every inch a fighter. Atchison towered above him. He was 
a florid, sociable man-mountain, fond of horses, hunting, fishing, and 
liquor. All the Atchisons grew to giant size. One of the six brothers tipped 
the scales at four hundred pounds before he died. A bit pompous from size 
and senatorial service, yet full of jokes, David Rice Atchison boasted that 
he was born in Frogtown, Kentucky — biggest frog in the puddle, sir! 
Senatorial colleagues had elected him president pro tempore sixteen times. 

Atchison epitomized the slave power, and his official position augured 
well for the Kansas-Nebraska bill's passage. In Washington he lived with 
two slavocratic nabobs, Senators R. M. Hunter and James Murray Mason. 
The former was a disciple of Calhoun's, destined to become Secretary of 
State under the Confederacy. The latter had authored the hated Fugitive 
Slave Act. Atchison was also close to Secretary of War Jefferson Davis. 
They had been schoolmates together in Kentucky. Davis, in turn, was inti- 
mate with President Franklin Pierce, whose one great ambition for his 
administration was to re-establish harmony on the slavery issue in the 
Democratic Party. Like Senator Douglas, he saw the equity in squatter 
sovereignty and agreed to announce the Kansas-Nebraska bill as an ad- 
ministration measure, thus making the vote on it a test of party regularity. 

This was Frank Pierce's first great mistake. Northern Democrats pro- 
nounced the opening of any free territory to slavery inexcusable appease- 
ment. In February 1854, while the bill was still being debated in the Sen- 


ate, a group of liberals met in Ripon, Wisconsin, and resolved — in case it 
passed — to form a new party pledged against the extension of slavery. The 
name "Republican" was suggested. Horace Greeley, in his New Yor\ 
Tribune, warned: "The attempted passage of this measure is the first great 
effort of slavery to take American freedom directly by the throat." Hun- 
dreds of petitions and memorials of protest flooded the mails to Washing- 
ton. Mass meetings, antislavery societies, and political conventions sent 
resolutions. Three thousand and fifty New England clergymen signed a 
protest. Lincoln, traveling the Illinois Circuit with Lyle Dickey, had real- 
ized that this was no summer shower but, instead, a rising tornado of re- 

In past years, hundreds of people had emigrated to the Pacific annually, 
but in the spring of 1854, even while the Kansas-Nebraska bill was being 
debated, the number swelled to thousands — congesting the outfitting 
towns of St. Joseph, Weston, and Independence, Missouri. All were obvi- 
ously going to Kansas, not California. As the congressional debates grew 
vindictive, newspapers reported Ohio River steamboats packed with emi- 
grants from Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Kentucky. The entire country had 
gone mad about Kansas. Former national excitements over temperance 
and spirit rapping seemed small by comparison. Political revolution was an 
ideal of the day, and it was noticeable that Westbound travelers affected 
the faddish full beard and soft felt hat peculiar to the popular Hungarian 
revolutionist Louis Kossuth. 

Senator Atchison was surprised and shocked by this migration. Strangely 
enough, he seems to have expected the whole United States to stand back 
and allow his constituents to pre-empt Kansas. Moreover, his constituents 
expected the same thing. They were enraged in April when they learned 
that the Massachusetts legislature had incorporated an emigrant aid so- 
ciety. However, it was late in July — almost two months after the passage 
of the Kansas-Nebraska bill — before the company was actually organized. 
New England emigrant aid companies had been helping travelers go West 
for years, but now the prospect of emigrants with antislavery traditions be- 
ing sent to Kansas set Senator Atchison's teeth on edge. 

The new emigrant aid company was being promoted by a zealot named 
Eli Thayer, an odd-appearing man with the bald crown of his head gleam- 
ing like a snowcap above a timber line of hair and luxuriant black beard. 


A correspondent of the New Yorl^ Evening Post said of him: "He may 
make a place for himself in political history, but he never will be Presi- 
dent. He is the vassal of one idea." Grotesque as Thayer appeared, he held 
an audience as well as or better than Senator Atchison or James Mason, 
or even the great Senator Douglas himself. The New Englander's long 
face and solemn expression italicized the droll humor of his words. 

Thayer had been a poor farm boy who worked his way through Brown 
University, class of 1845. While teaching school, young Thayer purchased 
a five-acre tract known as Goat Hill and from it quarried enough stone to 
build a castle with serrated towers — "Thayer's Folly" it was called by 
skeptics. Eli opened a college for women in the building — a daring ven- 
ture in 1849. To everyone's surprise the institution succeeded amazingly, 
and "Oread Castle," as he named it, became justly renowned for progres- 
siveness. Prospering financially, Thayer looked to other reforms. The tan- 
gled banking situation in Massachusetts interested him for a while. Next 
the debate over the Kansas-Nebraska bill attracted his attention. Here was 
a chance to make more money and at the same time extend human free- 
dom. Thayer organized the Massachusetts Emigrant Aid Company and 
wrote its first constitution. With witty oratory and enthusiasm, he began 
stumping New England to sell stock. What a chance for speculation in 
soil more fertile than anything in Massachusetts! He proposed to pre- 
empt blocks of land with company funds, send whole villages of settlers 
to develop farms, and then split the profits with the homesteaders. Thayer 
insisted that New England institutions be taken to the frontier — schools, 
sawmills, steam engines. New England's mechanical ability was sure to 
win Kansas from the "horseback chawbacks" of the border. Stumping the 
state, he shouted : "The steam engine is a singer, and will sing nothing but 
freedom. Set it sawing pine logs into boards and it will sing at its work day 
and night, 'Home of the Free. Home of the Free.' Set it to sawing tough 
gnarled oak and its song will be, 'Never a slave state! Never a slave 

Thayer boasted that his work was not evangelical. He was not traveling 
and speaking to draw tears from sentimental women, but to end slavery. 
New England farmers, shipowners, and mill men, who had seen their 
proposed laws blocked in Congress for years by the representatives of dis- 
tant slave owners, understood Thayer's oratory and bought stock in his 


company. Wealthy Amos A. Lawrence, merchant prince with great spin- 
ning interests in New England, invested heavily. His money and Thayer's 
eloquence made the company. 

Senator Atchison realized that he must hurry back to Platte County as 
soon as the Kansas-Nebraska bill passed, and save his constituents from 
the threatening money power. American patriots had fought George III, 
and embattled frontiersmen could yet conquer King Cotton-Bobbin. In 
the halls of Congress, Atchison rallied his colleagues to force through the 
law. President Pierce reasserted its importance as a party measure. Victory 
in the Senate was easy, but it was not until May 22 that the bill passed the 
House, with wild excitement, by the narrow margin of thirteen votes. Two 
days later a runaway slave was arrested in Boston, and the nation was im- 
pressed again by the depth of popular indignation against any act sup- 
porting slavery. The army, the marines, and several regiments of militia 
restrained protesting rioters until the unfortunate black man was put 
aboard a vessel which took him back to slavery. On the crest of this ex- 
citement, President Pierce signed, on May 30, 1854, the Kansas-Nebraska 
Act — and lawyer Lincoln, out in Illinois, knew that the die was cast. 
He would go back into politics. 

In Michigan, Senator Zachary Chandler signed a call for all free-state 
men to assemble in Jackson and organize a new party similar to the one 
formed in Ripon, Wisconsin. Other states were following suit. Senator 
William H. Seward of New York, sensing the sincerity of the popular 
clamor as Lincoln did, declared: "Come then, gentlemen of the slave 
states: since there is no escaping your challenge, I accept it in behalf of 

Senator Atchison wrote his constituents in Missouri to prepare for the 
challenge. He had opened the great territory for them. Now let them 
assert their rights. 

Missourians had not waited for the Nebraska bill to pass. Early in the 
spring they crossed the Big Muddy, staked claims on land still owned by 
the Indians, organized self-defensive associations to guarantee members' 
rights, then returned home to work for the summer. These organizations 
were a traditional extralegal device used by squatters on the frontier for a 
generation. Other settlers — intent on getting a home at once — stayed on 
the land, put in a crop, joined no lodge, and were soon classed as aboli- 


tionists. Among these were the Cody family with their eight-year-old boy 
Bill, who from the door of a cabin on Salt Creek saw his first wagon 
trains, soldiers, buckskin-clad trappers, and Indians — a panorama he re- 
membered all his life. 

In June, Senator Atchison returned to his pillared mansion in northwest 
Missouri. He drove off at once in his buggy, the springs tipping precari- 
ously under his weight. At taverns and crossroads he warned his constitu- 
ents that Boston's Faneuil Hall was coming to rule them. 

At Weston, Missouri, he had two ardent supporters named Stringfel- 
low. These little men of the old Virginia school stood scarcely five feet six, 
but their words carried weight. James H. Stringfellow practiced medicine, 
served as a pillar of the Methodist Church South, and swung his cane im- 
portantly on the main street. He also enjoyed roistering with disreputable 
characters on the levee, as became a political aspirant. He had a reputa- 
tion for stirring up trouble and justifying it in his newspaper, the Squatter 
Sovereign. Certainly, he looked forward to an active part in the terri- 
torial wrangle. His brother, Benjamin Franklin Stringfellow, was an easy- 
going man with genial eyes blinking in a cloud of smoke from his ever- 
present pipe. A lover of fast horses, he was wont to race his buggy team 
down the dirt road, tossing coins to waving urchins as he whirled by. In 
the village, he enjoyed sauntering along the street to his favorite chair in 
front of the hotel. He knew everybody, his business, and the latest whim- 
sical occurrences. By courtesy he was called "General." Senator Atchison, 
on his political circuit, would draw rein before Stringfellow's rural throne, 
call a Negro boy to take his horse, and the two would lounge together talk- 
ing politics for hours. 

Less educated but equally as influential was picturesque Milt McGee, 
at Kansas City landing, the new settlement below Independence. At the 
age of six, Milt had come from Kentucky with his trapper father. Un- 
schooled and semiliterate, Milt grew to man's strength on the border, 
blacked his father's eye, and set oft to make his fortune in the Rockies. 
He crossed the plains seven times — with fur traders, with the Great Mi- 
gration of 1843, with Fremont, and with the gold seekers. Between trips 
he had taken an active part, with Atchison, in expelling the Mormons from 
Missouri — a violent procedure which might be used also against Yankee 
abolitionists. Milt had fought the Comanches in Texas and the Seminole 


at "Occachubby" — his spelling in his autobiography. At Lassen's Pass in 
California he had been wounded by Indians. One hand was cupped perma- 
nently, but not enough to prevent him from driving a spirited team. Now, 
at the age of thirty-six, Milt looked like an old man and had settled down 
as a prosperous trader at the new Kansas City landing. The road from the 
landing was still barely wide enough for two wagons to pass, but the bluff 
above it was being excavated for a big hotel and warehouse. 

Milt McGee's friend A. G. Boone, grandnephew of the famous pioneer, 
had profited by an equally adventurous career and now owned a store at 
Westport, terminus of the Salt Lake City mail-stage line and outfitting 
point for both the Santa Fe and Oregon trails. Border militiamen usually 
congregated at his hospitable home and store. A new newspaper in West- 
port welcomed Kansas settlers who favored the ruling grandees' proslavery 
sympathies. Boone and McGee, having achieved success through courage 
and violence, could be counted on to fight abolitionists who threatened 
their prosperity as they had fought Mormons or Indians out on the plains. 
Proslavery leaders on the border staked out another city where a bend of 
the Missouri reached farthest west into "their Kansas." They named it 
Atchison and pointed out that the river bend made this future city a whole 
day's travel closer to the Pacific. 

Another town, founded within two weeks of the signing of the Kansas- 
Nebraska Act, was Leavenworth, close to the fort which served as head- 
quarters for the plains army. Here the first settlers pitched four tents and, 
with a barrel of whiskey and another of water for refreshment, began 
speculating in town lots. 

These towns all promised fortunes for the "home folks" and had com- 
menced building before the first party of Emigrant Aid Company settlers 
left Boston on July 17, 1854. There were only twenty-nine in the group, 
yet Senator Atchison feared them like the plague. A few more joined the 
little party as it moved along, but not many. Small as their number was, 
this little company included at least two men who would make their mark 
among the incoming thousands — John Doy and Dan Anthony. Both re- 
sented discipline and bondage for themselves or for the Negro. Dan An- 
thony was the son of a wealthy, independent-minded Quaker who had 
been suspended for marrying "out of meeting." Reinstated, he was re- 
proved for buttoning his coat contrary to the meeting's rules. Finally, the 


Friends expelled him for permitting his children to dance at home — a 
safer practice, he maintained, than drinking and dancing at the hotel. His 
son, Dan, and daughter, Susan B. Anthony, both inherited their father's 
independence and a determination to speak and be heard. Dan's positive- 
ness augured ill for any Missourian who crossed his will. John Doy was 
less intellectual, but he was obsessed with a desire to operate an under- 
ground railroad station helping Negroes to freedom. Kansas seemed ideal 
for such an adventure. 

The Massachusetts party debarked at Kansas City landing on July 28, 
1854, to face a hostile and sullen crowd and a notice that a reward of 
$200 would be paid for the delivery of Eli Thayer into the hands of the 
"squatters of Kansas Territory." 

The emigrants loaded their tents, bedding, and cooking utensils into 
wagons. They brought a printing press, with the first edition of the Herald 
of Freedom already in print. The editor, irascible but punctiliously truth- 
ful George Washington Brown, had been employed by the Emigrant Aid 
Company for this work in Ohio before joining the party. The little caval- 
cade drove off along the Santa Fe Trail between walls of sunflowers taller 
than a man's head. From the wagon seats these Massachusetts emigrants 
looked across an agricultural Garden of Eden. Far to the north they could 
see a distant line of trees along the Kaw River. For fifty miles they fol- 
lowed the historic California road which led out to the short-grass country 
of wild Indians and buffalo. This road had been used for years by ex- 
plorers, soldiers, Mexican War veterans, fur trappers, and delegations of 
red men coming with their agents to visit the Great White Father in 
Washington. Finally the Massachusetts party came to a mound, south of 
the Kaw, from which they could look out in all directions across the ocean 
of grass. Here they halted, pitched their tents, and decided to settle. They 
named the hill Mount Oread for Thayer's castle in Worcester, and the city 
of their dreams was called Lawrence in honor of their benefactor. 

The townsite had been chosen by an advance agent of the company, 
Charles Robinson — another of those New Englanders. Robinson had 
crossed the plains to California in 1849, and remembered the charm of this 
spot. On the Pacific coast he had taken an active part in a squatters' re- 
volt, had been wounded and jailed for a time. Coming home, his ship was 


wrecked oflf Lower California, and he held the survivors together until 
rescued two weeks later. Home again, he studied medicine and became a 
doctor. When the debates over Kansas began in Congress, Robinson wrote 
a series of articles in the Worcester Spy which attracted the attention of 
Thayer and Amos A. Lawrence. As a veteran colonist, practicing physi- 
cian, and forceful idealist, he seemed the right man for Kansas, and they 
employed him to aid their colonists. 

Robinson was a calmer man than Dan Anthony. Older and more ex- 
perienced, he had seen much violence, yet was essentially a man of learn- 
ing, tall and solemn, with a thin layer of long hair plastered across his 
wide, flat-topped, balding head. His beard was close-cropped. One observer 
described him as looking like a print of John Knox with uplifted finger 
and perpetual expression of rebuke. His lifelong motto was "Suffer and 
grow strong." 

On the rich land between Mount Oread and the Kaw River the emi- 
grants unpacked their wagons. In the tall grass they noticed claim stakes, 
and a few Missourians were camped nearby to defend their absent friends' 
rights. One of them brought a note to the New Englanders giving them 
half an hour to strike their tents, repack their wagons, move, or suffer the 
consequences. The emigrants turned to their agent. 

Robinson scribbled a reply, warning the proslavery settlers to touch his 
tents at their own risk. The messenger strode off* through the sunflowers, 
and the free-state men gathered around Robinson, guns ready for action. 
One man asked the agent, "Will you fire over their heads or to kill if they 
decide to come?" 

"I'd be ashamed to fire at a man and not hit him," replied the imper- 
sonification of Calvinism. 

Out in the weeds, the proslavery settlers sensed Robinson's determina- 
tion. Atchison had not told them that these despised city folk would fight. 
Better wait until the odds were in their favor. One of the claimants was 
George Washington Clarke, Indian agent appointed by President Pierce 
on recommendation of the Missouri senator. With such influence in court 
the Federal government would surely come to the Missourians' rescue. 

The second Massachusetts Emigrant Aid party profited by the experi- 
ences of the first and departed from New England with studied drama. 


The Kansas-Nebraska bill challenged New England, and the Puritans in- 
tended to make the most of it. Sixty-seven prospective settlers enrolled. 
John Greenleaf Whittier, Quaker poet, wrote for them : 

We cross the prairie as of old 

The pilgrims crossed the sea, 
To make the West, as they the East, 

The homestead of the free! 

In the Boston railroad station the settlers sang a new hymn, written for 
a contest conducted by the Emigrant Aid Company. Eight or ten sun- 
bonneted women and children stood in the group. Several men held rifles 
and all appeared the picture of pioneer determination. The party increased 
in size as it traveled west. At Worcester, Thayer's home town, the train 
stopped for a delegation at the station to present the pilgrims with a hand- 
somely bound Bible. 

During the summer of 1854, six Emigrant Aid troupes, totaling ap- 
proximately six hundred people, came out — a mere drop in the flood of 
emigration pouring into Kansas. The New Englanders settled in Law- 
rence or plotted new villages nearby, among them Osawatomie, Man- 
hattan, and Topeka. In almost every case they contested the staked claims 
of absentee Missourians. 

The disturbances in Kansas did not differ from what might be expected 
at any frontier land opening. There was some blustering but not open 
civil war. Atchison bounced around his Missouri bailiwick in his buggy, 
agitating the people to defend their rights. The Stringfellows added to the 
political commotion, but merchants in their own town of Weston pro- 
tested against driving away good cash customers. With a little forbearance 
peace could easily have been maintained, but the slavery issue had become 
bigger than Kansas. Senator Douglas, returning to Chicago in Septem- 
ber, noted in cities, towns, and crossroads along the route that his effigy 
was burning. He heard himself called the "Benedict Arnold of 1854." Lin- 
coln had been correct when he surmised that the Kansas-Nebraska Act 
would split the Democratic Party. A dark horse might well become the 
next President of the United States. 

In October, Kansas Territory's first governor arrived. His task of organ- 
izing the government was difficult, but Pierce had apparently made a good 


selection for the job. Andrew H. Reeder, lawyer from Easton, Pennsyl- 
vania, had taken an active part in politics without holding office. He was 
enthusiastic about Douglas's popular sovereignty as a solution for the 
slavery problem and welcomed an opportunity to put it into practice. At 
Leavenworth the proslavery speculators eyed his side whiskers and false 
teeth suspiciously, but accepted him as a "Philadelphia gentleman," of- 
fered him a share of their prospective land profits, and expected him to 
co-operate with them in making their town the capital. Reeder did not 
commit himself. He wanted to see all his "squatter sovereigns" before 
making a decision, so he hired a carriage and jogged off around his prairie 
domain. At each cluster of cabins he spoke from a bench, a wagon end, or 
an upturned dry-goods box. He learned that every community was com- 
posed of land speculators, and all hoped to make their site the state capital. 
Each settlement offered to give the new governor town lots. Reeder left 
behind him an atmosphere of encouragement. But he began to see the 
politician's dilemma: nine enemies for every friend gained by patronage. 

Reeder returned from his tour with ample proof of the cupidity of free- 
state as well as proslavery settlers. He also learned that the Missourians 
planned coming over on the first election day to outvote the newcomers. 
As governor, he determined that his administration should be just, and he 
announced that he would allow the franchise only to actual residents. But 
the territory's organic act did not specify how long a legal voter must re- 
side in the territory, so the Missourians were not discouraged. Next, Reeder 
decided to sample the temper of the squatters by holding an election only 
for a territorial delegate to Congress. Let the more important selection of 
territorial legislators be held after he had time to know the people better. 

The day for the first election approached. Atchison, his florid face 
slightly swollen from age and good living, redoubled his activity. He told 
his Missouri constituents : "When your peace, your quiet and your property 
depend upon your action, you can, without an exertion, send five hundred 
of your young men who will vote in favor of your institutions." His in- 
structions were printed in the Platte Argus, and on election day, Novem- 
ber 29, 1854, he strapped a bowie knife and revolver around his ample 
waist and rode across into Kansas with an army of voters. Careful to stay 
away from polling places himself, he established headquarters out on the 
prairie and, according to reports, sent his men where most needed to carry 


the election. He did not vote personally, maintaining that that would have 
disqualified him at home. 

The invaders dared ride as far inland as Lawrence to cast their ballots. 
Robinson and his New Englanders watched the strangers vote for and 
elect the proslavery candidate, J. W. Whitfield, a thick-tongued Tennes- 
sean who, like Clarke, had been appointed Indian agent in Kansas on 
recommendation of Senator Atchison. Although some seventeen hundred 
Missourians were estimated to have invaded the Kansas polls, the settlers 
accepted the result, admitting that Whitfield would have won even if the 
election had been fair. Ballot-box stuffing was common enough in Ameri- 
can politics. In Nebraska, Iowans had marched across the state line to vote 
illegally, and their act was accepted. In Louisiana, the ballot boxes had 
recently been stuffed in the Plaquamine Parish by a steamboatful of voters 
sent down from New Orleans by Atchison's colleague Senator John Sli- 
dell. This was politics — but precedent failed to make it honest, and in 
Kansas, the challenge between North and South stimulated the whole na- 
tion to do something about it. 

Violence at the polls had been relatively slight, with only one man 
killed, but the homicide elicited more than casual interest, for the dead 
man was proslavery, and the man who killed him was free-state. How- 
ever, the killer was properly vindicated by Judge Samuel D. Lecompte, 
easygoing appointee from Maryland, who really cared more about reading 
the classics on a comfortable seat in the "trotway" of his double log house 
on the Leavenworth road than he did about frontier brawls. No one ob- 
jected to this decision, and the possibility of a civil war between the free- 
state and slavery factions was postponed. But the propagandists on both 
sides continued to harp on Seward's challenge and the justice and injustice 
of opening free Kansas to slavery. Moreover, the fall elections of 1854 
swept out many of the congressmen who had voted for the Kansas- 
Nebraska Act. The next Congress would be filled with their successors. 
These anti-Nebraska men, as they were called, might break the Demo- 
cratic majority. But the Southerners had not given up hope. The popula- 
tion of Kansas was still far too small for statehood. Perhaps enough set- 
tlers might be encouraged to emigrate next summer to maintain the 
present proslavery victory already achieved out there. The proslavery lead- 
ers had asked for a test of stamina between the sections. Give them time! 


The contest between the sections stopped temporarily during the cold 
winter of 1 854-1 855. Westbound settlers concentrated in St. Louis. Ears 
wrapped in mufflers and boots in burlap, they ventured out on the wind- 
swept levee watching miles of ice-locked steamboats. Three hundred and 
fifty miles away on the Kansas plains, settlers at Lawrence finished their 
houses during the bitter months. Cellars could not be dug in the frozen 
ground, but sawmills puffed their energetic breaths into the sparkling air, 
singing, as Thayer had prophesied, to the accompaniment of ringing ham- 
mers. Shivering Missourians watched and wondered at these ingenious 
Yankees, their patent apple peelers, their books, their queer houses — no 
chimney on the outside — their church services in tents with a boy feed- 
ing chips into a sheet-iron stove while the wind whistled against the can- 
vas. Most noticeable of all was their insistence on schools — a continual 
insult to the proslavery culture around them. "If their object is not to of- 
fend," one Southerner wrote, "why did they not wait until they had more 
leisure before they busied themselves about schoolhouses?" 

The diligent New Englanders heard the Emigrant Aid Company called 
ugly names, Thayer's plan of profit damned as Yankee money grabbing. 
Robinson, always the personification of reproach, wrote Lawrence about 
it, and the philanthropist insisted that the company be reorganized. Thayer 
objected, but Lawrence was obdurate. Born to wealth, he cared more for 
principle than money. So Thayer's idea of paying dividends was discon- 
tinued, and contributions became exclusively charitable. Henceforth "aid" 
would consist of free information and a fifteen per cent reduction in rail- 
road and steamship fares through quantity purchases. No political ques- 
tions were asked emigrants. Contributors' one concern was to get people 
into Kansas and let them compare the two forms of society — slave and 
free. Thayer continued to stump for the organization, neglecting his 
school, contributing his own funds. Most hamlets in New England learned 
the sound of his voice and his persuasive assurance that : 

Every colony planted by the Emigrant Aid Society was provided with 
a church, a school and a steam-engine. Slavery cannot stand before these 
things. Wherever the steam-engine goes, liberty will prevail. An ordinary 
dull man, seeing one of these pioneers of freedom going up the Missouri 
river will say, "There goes a steam-engine." David Rice Atchison seeing 
it, says, "There goes another damned abolition city into Kansas." 

1 1 

It Looks Very Much Like War: 1855 

Jr or over a year after Lincoln's bedroom decision to re-enter politics, he 
did not join the new anti-Nebraska party. As he had foreseen, his own 
Whigs split on the slavery issue, many voting the Know-Nothing ticket — 
a party opposed to immigration of foreigners. The new Republican Party, 
pledged to counteract the Kansas bill, was fast becoming national but as 
yet had no organization in Illinois. Lincoln showed reluctance to join it, 
although he watched the Democrats beating their own brains against the 
Kansas wall. 

During the winter of 1 854-1 855, emigrants continued to congregate at 
Alton and St. Louis — steamboat embarkation points. Many more waited 
impatiently at home for spring to open the roads and rivers. With time to 
spare these would-be pioneers fumed to be off, pre-empt claims, and fight 
for democracy on the plains. In anticipation of the spring rush, Kansas 
City grew, weedlike, and now numbered three hundred inhabitants. The 
hotel on the levee under the bluff had been purchased by the Emigrant Aid 
Company to accommodate all travelers — regardless of politics, the owners 
were careful to announce. A man named Gaius Jenkins welcomed guests. 

Beyond Kansas City, Westport showed even greater prosperity. In addi- 
tion to the overland-trail business, it now had the Kansas trade. All day 
and all night hammers tinkled in nine blacksmith shops, one with six 
forges. The town also boasted sixteen trading houses, four saloons, and 
two large, three-story brick hotels — a great change in the ten years since 
Francis Parkman had outfitted for the Oregon Trail here, purchasing a 
mule from A. G. Boone, a big man of the town then as now. 

Across the Kansas border from Westport, Governor Reeder established 
a temporary capital in the Shawnee Indian Mission Manual Training 


School buildings. The Leavenworth speculators construed this as a sure 
indication that he planned to ignore their town as the permanent site. 
They began scheming with neighboring Missourians for the removal of 
the governor from office. Reeder, on his part, had spent the winter study- 
ing the Kansas situation. He ordered an election for the territorial legis- 
lature on March 30, 1855, and he hoped to forestall wholesale fraud this 
time. To prevent it, he had taken a census, so he could now estimate the 
approximate number of legitimate voters, and he threatened to throw out 
returns which were obviously spurious. The entire territory contained only 
8501 white persons with 5128 males, 3373 females. There were also 242 
slaves and 151 free Negroes. 

Rumors were rife that Senator Atchison planned coming again from 
Missouri to carry the election. Back in Massachusetts, wealthy Amos A. 
Lawrence considered that anyone as prominent as Atchison would under- 
stand amenities and want to be fair, also. He wrote him a long letter, 
laying out the North's case, and requesting that the contest, as Seward had 
proclaimed it, be honorably conducted. He said that there was no truth 
in the assertion that the New England emigrants were abolitionists, "but," 
he added significantly, "oppression may make them abolitionists of the 
most dangerous kind." 

Senator Atchison replied respectfully, defending the Missourians as be- 
ing no more guilty than New Englanders who voted and returned home. 
He said further that he regarded any man who came to make Kansas a 
free state as an "abolitionist," and he suggested that Mr. Lawrence with 
all his wealth might better serve humanity by purchasing some slaves 
himself instead of stirring up strife. Let him bring them to Kansas. Put 
them to useful work and take good care of them. Here, at last, Atchison 
had touched the spot which Lincoln had seen so quickly. Static paternal- 
ism — a fixed economy — could never agree with a society bottomed on 
equality, opportunism, constant enterprise, and competition. The two 
points of view had become sectional, and politicians across the nation 
awaited the coming election. 

Ice melted in the Western rivers early in March 1855, and steamboats 
soon began to arrive in Kansas. Rumor of a great invasion of New Eng- 
land settlers, being paid a hundred dollars to come and vote, infuriated 
the border men. Atchison should have known that this was not so. He 


had not questioned Amos A. Lawrence's statement to the contrary, but he 
wanted to win and any measure against those interlopers seemed justified. 
The local press and orators screamed against Yankee "paupers" — men 
who owned no slaves — abolitionists, and wealthy Eastern corporations. 
Everybody was urged to cross the border and vote to save the country. 
Those unable to go personally were urged to pay for someone who could. 
Mass meetings assembled in downriver towns halfway across Missouri. 
At Boonville a tipsy planter stumbled through an audience to the speakers' 
table and slapped down a thousand dollars. "I've just sold a nigger for 
that," he said, "and I reckon it's about my share towards cleaning out the 
dog-gauned Yankees." At Platte City a crowd of some twenty-five hun- 
dred to three thousand assembled to organize a Missouri migration to 
Kansas ahead of the New Englanders. "General" Stringfellow exhorted 
Missourians to emigrate en masse before Kansas "should become the home 
of a lawless set of infidels and abolitionists." He assured the people that 
he had heard "from a reliable source" that Southern states were sending 
an immense countermigration. "Families," he said, "with all their slaves 
are making preparations to move as soon as the weather will permit." 
Until they arrived, the Missourians must hold Kansas and "vote at the 
point of the bowie-knife and the revolver." Similar meetings were held 
down the river at Lexington and as far inland as Randolph County in 
north central Missouri. 

As the time for electing territorial legislators approached, many Mis- 
souri border counties sent contingents to vote. Steamboats plied back and 
forth to Atchison and Leavenworth, offering a special round-trip rate. 
"General" Stringfellow, in a dragoon jacket, led patriots forward. Senator 
Atchison also crossed, reassuring the timid. He maintained later that he 
went in the capacity of peacemaker, to counsel against violence — the 
identical defense given continually by rascally Ned Buntline, the riot 
rouser of the decade. Bands of men trailed down to the ferries, their 
wagons loaded with camp supplies. The Reverend Frederick Starr remem- 
bered one vehicle with a five-foot pole carrying a whiskey bottle, revolver, 
bowie knife, powder horn, black flag with skull and crossbones, and a 
long streamer of glossy hemp. As far away as Waverly, Missouri, success- 
ful little Jo Shelby closed his ropewalk and with forty men — some re- 
cruited in the Blue Grass — rode to Lawrence to vote. Shelby, Kentucky 


aristocrat and graduate of Transylvania, was steeped in the romance of 
Sir Walter Scott and fond of quoting chivalric passages. He soon learned 
that his short stature gained magnitude on a big horse, that a black plume 
decorated his hat admirably, and that great exhilaration came from com- 
manding a troop of light-horse. He was fast becoming the wealthiest slave- 
holder in Missouri. To him, Boston aid societies were anathema. Governor 
Reeder, in his quarters at Shawnee Mission, watched part of this tousle- 
headed, tatterdemalion army of voters traipse through town, bristling with 
firearms and bowie knives. 

Lawrence had now become the focal point of all antislavery forces. The 
most important events in the Kansas war would occur within thirty miles 
of this New England village. On the night before the election a thousand 
strangers, with several cannon, halted their wagons in a ravine east of 
town. Negro fiddlers strolled from fire to fire. The prominent Missouri 
politician Claibourne Jackson seemed to be in charge. A man of means, 
Claib Jackson had married in succession the three daughters of Dr. John 
Sappington, wealthy manufacturer of quinine pills to remedy frontier 
malaria. Gossips said that the old doctor had told Claib when he came for 
the third daughter, "I reckon you'll be back next for the old woman." 
Jackson had been elected twice to the Missouri legislature and was now 
running for Congress. His followers had had their expenses paid, and they 
had brought printed ballots with them. 

Jackson called a mass meeting around his tent, explained the vague law 
concerning residence in the territory, and told the assembly that they had 
as much right to vote in the morning as they would if they had lived in 
Kansas four or five years. Then he divided his command, holding enough 
to win the Lawrence election and detailing the others to districts where 
they might be needed. 

In the afternoon the Missourians started home, grumbling that they 
were no guiltier than the free-staters and vowing to hang Reeder if he did 
not sanction the election. The final count in Lawrence showed 781 pro- 
slavery ballots and 253 free-soil, with an estimate of only 369 legitimate 
voters. Later, a congressional investigating committee reported that 232 
of the votes were legal. 

Conditions were worse in other districts. In the second, around Bloom- 
ington, the Claib Jackson men arrived under the command of A. G. 


Boone's son-in-law, Samuel J. Jones, stormy postmaster of Westport, Mis- 
souri. The polling cabin was immediately surrounded and the judges or- 
dered to resign. 

At Leavenworth the voting was questioned by a free-state attorney 
there, William Phillips, who threatened to have the election returns can- 
celed as fraudulent. A mob seized him, shaved his head, had him tarred, 
feathered, and auctioned off by a grinning Negro : "How much, gentlemen, 
for a full-blooded abolitionist, dyed in de wool, tar feathers and all?" The 
Par\ville Luminary dared cry out in print against Atchison and his Platte 
County regulators. A mob destroyed the presses. 

Of the 6207 votes cast in the territory, 80 per cent were estimated to be 
spurious. Only one free-state man was elected — Maryland-born, South 
Carolina-educated Martin Conway. All the others were proslavery, among 
them Dr. J. H. Stringfellow, editor of the Squatter Sovereign. 

After the election, Dr. Charles Robinson led a small band of his fol- 
lowers to Shawnee Mission and asked Governor Reeder to declare the 
entire election fraudulent. Robinson knew that the governor had been 
threatened bodily and might be killed for such a decision, but the free- 
staters offered to serve as a personal bodyguard. Reeder temporized, 
champing his false teeth. He hesitated to countenance dishonesty, yet knew 
that President Pierce and the administration press would roar if he made 
trouble. Besides, he hoped to demonstrate that his panacea of squatter 
sovereignty would solve the territorial slavery problem. Finally Reeder de- 
cided on a halfway course. He would certify all the returns except the most 
fraudulent ones and in those districts would order a new election. 

Robinson jogged back to Lawrence and wrote long letters about his 
disappointment to influential friends in the East. He warned Thayer: 

It looks very much like war, and I am ready for it and so are our 
people. Wouldn't it be rich to march an army through the slaveholding 
States and roll up a blac\ cloud that should spread dismay and terror to 
the ranks of the oppressors? 

Cannot your secret society send us 200 Sharps rifles as a loan till this 
question is settled? Also a couple of field-pieces? If they will do that, I 
think they will be well used, and preserved. 

George Washington Deitzler set off for New England to get the guns. 
Sharps were a new and advanced type of breech-loading rifle. Only some 


fourteen thousand had been manufactured. The Emigrant Aid Company 
would always claim that the corporation never bought any Sharps rifles 
for emigrants to Kansas but admitted that prominent members of the 
company did purchase guns individually — a questionable admission, for 
the records of the Sharps Company show purchases by both company and 
individual members. 

Waiting for the guns, the citizens of Lawrence decided to build perma- 
nent fortifications. The Emigrant Aid Company began work on a fine 
concrete hostelry called the Free-State Hotel or Eldridge House, for the 
lessee, Shalor Eldridge. The roof of the building was constructed with 
portholes at the top of the walls. Dr. J. H. Stringfellow viewed the military 
preparations with alarm, urged readers of the Squatter Sovereign to retali- 
ate, defied Governor Reeder, and gossips said that he slapped the Chief 
Executive's face. However that may have been, Reeder determined to give 
not an inch to these Missouri politicians. He ordered the first session of the 
legislature to meet in July at Pawnee, a new capital site close beside the 
Fort Riley army reservation out beyond the tall-grass prairies, on the edge 
of the great plains — the short-grass country where wagon travelers began 
to carry "buffalo chips" for firewood and to shoot the shaggy monsters for 
meat. After publishing this official decree, Governor Reeder boarded the 
boat for Washington to explain the tangled situation to the President. 

At the White House, Reeder learned that Atchison, fresh from the elec- 
tion invasion, had preceded him, told his side of the story, and demanded 
the governor's removal. President Pierce, as honest as Reeder but con- 
siderably weaker in character, seemed impressed, yet he hesitated to dismiss 
an appointee without a hearing. He understood the constant pressures 
exerted on an administrator. Territorial governors were always being 
maligned by groups of speculators or others wanting special privileges. 
His appointee to Utah was being criticized loudly by the Mormons. Sena- 
tor Douglas was urging removal of the governor of Minnesota, but ac- 
commodating as Pierce wanted to be, he refused to sacrifice a man with- 
out cause. 

As Reeder listened to the President, he could only surmise what tales 
Atchison had told him, but he felt confident that his own course of action 
had been the only one possible. He soon learned that Pierce viewed the 
situation differently. First, the President said that he had heard nothing 


but complaints from Kansas. He believed that the Emigrant Aid Com- 
pany was stirring up all the trouble. Amos A. Lawrence was a distant 
relative, but Pierce had no sympathy with his activities. Abolitionists were 
ruining the Democratic Party and might bring on a civil war. Were the 
proslavery people in Kansas as bad as the abolition press represented ? Ac- 
cording to information reaching Washington, free-state men had packed 
the election as fraudulently as the proslavery group. If the election was un- 
fair, why had Reeder accepted part of it? Moreover, proslavery settlers 
complained that the governor was speculating, said that he favored the 
abolitionists because they gave him the biggest blocks of town lots. They 
also accused him of acquiring claims to land still held by Indians. This 
had been reported by trustworthy George Washington Clarke, Indian 
Agent — appointee recommended by Senator Atchison. Rascally New 
Englanders had jumped his claim near Lawrence. The President also had 
been informed that the governor delayed the legislative election from No- 
vember 1854 to March 1855, in order that free-state voters might come 
from Boston — a delay that would make Kansas free soil and hinder unity 
in his party. According to the President's information, the much maligned 
Missouri invaders were legitimate settlers who had returned, after voting, 
to get their families and would have brought them the first time except for 
the inclement weather. False abolitionist propagandists were making an 
unwarranted display. Moreover, the fortunate election of slavery sympa- 
thizers to the territorial legislature in Kansas had encouraged thousands of 
Southerners to emigrate there with slaves. These people had their rights. 
No doubt there were proslavery irregularities, but neither side was lily 
white. Pierce suggested a face-saving compromise. If Reeder would resign 
amicably, the President would tender him a comparable job elsewhere, 
and arrange an exchange of correspondence for publication. In these let- 
ters the President would uphold, in theory, Reeder's position in Kansas, 
thus satisfying the Northern Democrats. At the same time, Reeder's re- 
moval should placate the proslavery wing. Pierce even offered to make 
good Reeder's land speculations, and he hinted diplomatically that it 
might be dangerous for Reeder to return. Atchison had spoken at some 
length about the belligerency of the border people. 

Reeder listened impatiently, said that he was not personally afraid but 
that he would resign if a suitable exchange of letters might be agreed upon 


for publication. Angry and stubborn, he stalked out of the conference. At 
his hotel, Reeder wrote letters outlining his case and maligning the illegal 
actions of the proslavery wing. This, of course, was unsatisfactory to the 
President, and after a few more attempts the matter was dropped. Gov- 
ernor Reeder returned to Kansas, and Franklin Pierce resorted to the old 
political trick of doing nothing. Perhaps if the territory had been closer, 
the President might have kept himself better posted and, in view of the 
overwhelming evidence, backed Reeder's efforts for an honest administra- 
tion. The Missouri River, however, was a long way from Washington, and 
other business demanded attention. A week was required for the delivery 
of a telegram to Kansas and two for a letter. Pierce took up the immediate 
problems on his desk and thus neglected a great chance to quash one of 
the major agitations which led to the Civil War. 

President Pierce's hope to evade unpleasant publicity proved fatuous. He 
might have listened, too, to Amos A. Lawrence's prophecy that con- 
tinued Southern aggression would make "abolitionists of the most dan- 
gerous kind." The entire North was aroused by the Kansas usurpation, 
and eager newspaper reporters hurried to the territory. Foremost among 
them was James Redpath, correspondent for the Missouri Democrat, the 
Chicago Press and Tribune and Horace Greeley's New Yor\ Tribune. 
With his father, in Scotland, Redpath had helped compile Tales and Tra- 
ditions oj the Border when sixteen years old. In Kansas, at twenty-two, 
he was credited with coining the term "Border Ruffian," which Greeley 
gave wide publicity. An erratic, volatile, sentimental chap, dedicated to 
abolitionism, he was not one to be deterred from reaching a righteous goal 
by conforming to a strict statement of the truth. In journalism, life, and in 
love, he specialized in sensationalism. Once he wrote a young lady that he 
had purchased her novel on his way to the cemetery to commit suicide, 
began to read it, and decided not to kill himself but devote his life to pro- 
moting her book instead. In addition to his connection with the Eastern 
antislavery newspapers, Redpath soon published a paper of his own in 
Kansas, the Crusader oj Freedom. 

Other abolitionist writers who arrived in 1855 were Richard J. Hinton 
and William Phillips — not the lawyer. Both were Scotch-born, like Red- 
path. All three were in their twenties. Each was determined to take the 
Declaration of Independence literally and die, if necessary, for freedom 


of the slave. These youngsters, eager for "copy," reform, and excitement 
could all be counted on to scratch journalistic matches in the Kansas pow- 
derhouse. Freedom of the press, what! The Kansas to which they came 
almost doubled in population with the spring migration of 1855, totaling 
fifteen thousand people. The towns were still scattered along the Missouri 
and in the high-grass prairies. 

Among the incoming thousands one odd character yelled "Whoa" and 
pulled his moccasin-colored horse to a halt in front of the free-state news- 
paper office in Lawrence. The stranger, dressed in overalls and rounda- 
bout, stalked through the doorway and asked the way to "Tecumsey" — 
twenty miles on up the Kaw. His large prehensile lips denoted fluency 
and nicotine. His personality seemed peculiarly magnetic, and his expres- 
sive eyes followed the full-skirted women tripping along the wooden side- 
walks. Obviously, he was putting on an act, for the logical place to ask 
about the road was at the livery barn. Moreover, he decided to stay in 
Lawrence, in fact, resided there the rest of his life. In his characteristically 
confidential manner he told the newspapermen that he wore his rude cos- 
tume in order to pass through Missouri without being stopped by the 
Border Ruffians — another obviously untrustworthy statement, for James 
Henry Lane was a prominent proslavery Democrat and as congressman 
had voted for the Kansas-Nebraska bill. He was a well-known figure back 
in Indiana, where he had been lieutenant governor. He had served with 
credit as a colonel in the Mexican War, but politics was his great interest 
in life — an interest he inherited from his father. Lane's sisters possessed 
his aptness for intrigue. In the campaign of 1840, they had almost ruined 
the presidential candidate, General William Henry Harrison, with their 
smiles, champagne, and soft music. The aging Indian fighter made himself 
ridiculous by singing for them songs of love and war at a time when his 
campaign managers hoped to keep him quiet. 

The Grim Chieftain of Kansas, as Lane was soon called, became a con- 
troversial figure almost immediately. In all probability he came to Kansas, 
as did so many other hopeful politicians, to help organize the Democratic 
Party and rise with it in a new field. Whether he planned to work for a 
slave or a free Kansas remains a mystery. A colleague in Indiana remem- 
bered that Lane vowed, before leaving, to make Kansas free. A colleague 
in the West remembered Lane's telling him in confidence that he had come 


at the instigation of Pierce and Douglas, who already foresaw the impossi- 
bility of making Kansas a slave state and wanted to organize it as a free 
Democratic one. Both are hindsight recollections. On arriving in Kansas, 
Lane announced publicly that he had come to look for a location to raise 
hemp, and that for working the soil he knew no difference between a 
Negro and a mule. He deplored the secret shipments of Sharps rifles. 
Certainly, if Lane did come to Kansas at Pierce's order, to double-cross the 
governor, Reeder did not know it. 

The proslavery, Missouri-controlled legislature convened at Pawnee the 
first week in July 1855. This new hamlet on the edge of the short-grass 
country was a hundred and forty miles from the Missouri River. The first 
settlers had arrived on Christmas Day, 1854, having braved the winter 
weather that stopped most emigrants. Coming under the auspices of the 
Emigrant Aid Company, they were spurned by the Missourians, but the 
army officers in nearby Fort Riley proved friendly in a growling, military 
way — especially redheaded Captain Nathaniel Lyon, a stanch Democrat 
who had campaigned for Pierce, but since watching the Border Ruffian 
aggressors, opposed proslavery men. The snow had drifted twenty feet 
deep at Pawnee, but the settlers had survived by pitching their tents in a 
gulch out of the wind. 

When the newly elected legislators drove in after a long camping trip 
across the prairies, they found only a score of houses along a brushy creek 
in the bottom of a grass-carpeted hollow. One large, two-story stone build- 
ing had been constructed for a capitol. The governor's mansion was built 
of hewn logs. Another log house, fifty feet long and sixteen wide, offered 
hotel accommodations. As the legislators pulled ofl their saddles and un- 
hooked their teams, they learned that the Fort Riley army officers, as well 
as Governor Reeder, had been given town lots. Already tired and dis- 
gruntled from the overland trip, angry with Reeder for pronouncing some 
of their election returns fraudulent, they planned to retaliate against the 
governor at once. 

With the legislators came government employees and hangers-on. In 
Pawnee, they all camped along the creek, many cooking beside their wag- 
ons. Horses were picketed on the plains above the hollow, and three times 
a day legislators, clerks, and lobbyists led the animals down to the creek 
for a drink. Among the throng strode the Grim Chieftain with his moc- 


casin-colored horse. Jim Lane had visited a rally in Lawrence on June 27, 
1855, intent on organizing the Democratic Party in Kansas, but the sparse 
attendance opened his eyes. Five days later he appeared at Pawnee. From 
morning until evening he spent his time confidentially buttonholing the 
assemblymen. At night he slept under a wagon, safe from the hoofs of 
loose horses. He seemed particularly interested in having the legislature 
grant him a divorce from the wife who had followed him from Indiana. 
She was the daughter of distinguished General Arthur St. Clair, president 
of the Continental Congress, and first governor of the Northwest Terri- 
tory. Lane's enemies would say later that he had sold all her property, 
amounting to ten thousand dollars, for the trip to Kansas — and that 
Mrs. Lane, in desperation, raised money for her return passage by appeal- 
ing to fellow townsmen, while he was away "politicking." Both allegations 
were contradicted in Mrs. Lane's later suit for divorce. 

Out at Pawnee, on the opening day of the- first session, the legislators 
clumped, in their muddy boots, into the stone capitol. All took their seats, 
and Reeder, in an upholstered high-backed throne facing the assembly, 
stood up to read his first message. The windows were open, and the hot 
breath of July simmered in from the tawny, sun-scorched grass. Perfunc- 
torily the governor asked the lawmakers "to lay aside all the selfish and 
equivocal motives, to discard all unworthy ends, and in the spirit of justice 
and charity to each other, with pure hearts, tempered feelings and sober 
judgments" proceed with the territory's business. 

Thus admonished, the solons promptly seated the entire slate of the first 
election, regardless of the free-state men who had won in the districts 
where Governor Reeder ordered re-elections. A scraping of feet and 
thumping on the wooden stairs announced that the honestly elected free- 
state members were leaving in a hufT. Young Martin Conway, the sole 
recognized free-state legislator, resigned in order to fight the injustice 
without restraint. As the son of a slaveholder he had learned to hate the 
institution and the methods used to perpetuate it. His articles for the press, 
along with Redpath's and Hinton's, would be the basis of the Eastern 
reading public's knowledge of Kansas politics. 

The proslavery legislature, now left to itself, nominated and elected 
J. H. Stringfellow speaker, then forthwith adjourned to reconvene in the 
more hospitable atmosphere of the Shawnee Mission on the Missouri 


border. Reeder promptly vetoed the move, and as promptly the act passed 
over his veto. The legislature drove off, the governor following. A report 
of cholera at the fort may have hastened the retreat from Pawnee. Secretary 
of War Jefferson Davis backed the legislature's action by extending the 
boundary of the Fort Riley military reservation, thus wiping out the 
Pawnee settlers' land holdings and adding to the bitterness of tough little 
Captain Lyon, who dutifully drove the courageous settlers from their 
houses, and scored another tally to his hatred of slavocrats. Lyon's own 
messmates complained about his disagreeable manners. He persisted in 
reading political tracts instead of playing cards. He even argued about 
religion: fixing cold, unblinking blue eyes on unwilling listeners, he had 
declared, "I am an infidel, perhaps an atheist. Socrates was nobler than 
Jesus." Certainly Lyon was a dangerous man to have authority, come civil 

While the first legislature drove to and from Pawnee, Charles Robinson 
planned an elaborate demonstration in Lawrence. Ever since the second 
election, he had been addressing conventions, decrying the illegal Missouri 
procedure, calling the newly elected legislature "bogus." The grand cul- 
mination came on Independence Day. That morning two companies 
armed with Sharps rifles marched through town to be presented with flags 
by the citizens. Settlers with claims not recognized by the Lawrence As- 
sociation looked askance at the military display, listened to a reading of the 
Declaration of Independence — an endorsement of revolution, but how 
could they object? Then Dr. Robinson, who had been reared near Bunker 
Hill, went one step further. To the citizens of Lawrence he delivered a 
Fourth of July oration worthy of a patriot of the Revolutionary days. 

"Let us repudiate all laws enacted by foreign legislative bodies," he said. 
"So thought and so acted our ancestors, and so let us think and act." 

Robinson's remarks were responded to by Samuel N. Wood, a little 
Hicksite Quaker and a notorious underground railroad conductor from 
Ohio, who planned to write for Eastern newspapers and claimed a home- 
stead on the California road. As yet, no objectionable state laws had been 
passed by any "foreign legislative bodies," for the newly elected legislature 
had not yet set to work. Robinson's demonstration, therefore, was only a 
protest against the Missouri usurpation of the ballot boxes, and perhaps 
fear of being overruled on land claims. But already "slavery" was a name 


around which settlers could rally for their own protection and thus draw 
sympathy from the entire North. 

Down at the Shawnee Mission the legislators set up government in the 
brick school buildings. Governor Reeder roomed in the American Hotel 
in nearby Kansas City, while the Harris House in proslavery Westport 
accommodated many of the lawmakers. Some slept in the mission shed 
or in the residence of the missionary, a slave-owning divine named 
Thomas Johnson. At noon the governor and the legislature all ate to- 
gether in Johnson's house. Governor Reeder feared riding alone from 
Kansas City to the mission and asked Shalor Eldridge, proprietor of the 
American Hotel (as well as the Lawrence hostelry) to accompany him to 
the capital. The two men were joined by Kersey Coates, one of the gover- 
nor's fellow Pennsylvanians now living in Kansas City. At dinnertime, 
when the bell rang, Reeder and his friends hurried to the "eating house." 
The governor seated himself at the head of the table, beckoning to Coates 
and Eldridge to sit on either side. Before the legislators arrived, Reeder 
unbuttoned his coat, loosened his belt, and slipped two revolvers to the 
front, although concealed under the table. Coates and Eldridge followed 
his example. Soon the legislators crowded in, talking among themselves, 
sitting down noisily, ignoring the presence of the governor. At the foot 
of the table the Reverend Thomas Johnson stood up, raised a huge carving 
knife, and brought it down with a thud. The startled solons turned, then 
saw that he was only soliciting silence so that he might request divine 
blessing on the meal. 

How long any governor could keep his head above such a turbulent 
frontier assembly was anybody's guess. Robinson wrote Amos A. Lawrence 
frequently, and that philanthropist wrote his kinsman President Pierce, 
that Reeder needed vigorous support from the government to uphold his 
courageous stand. Pierce demurred, so Lawrence and his friends sent the 
settlers more "means of defense." 

President Pierce, almost desperate now, solved his problem by dismissing 
the governor — an act of appeasement which encouraged the slave power 
to demand more. The Atchison wing of the party urged the President to 
fill the executive chair with Territorial Secretary Daniel Woodson, an at- 
torney from Independence who had marched with invading voters in 
November 1854. Pierce showed sufficient strength to ignore this pressure, 


but he still hoped to satisfy everybody and weld the two wings of the 
party. To replace Reeder, he appointed another half-and-half man. Wilson 
Shannon appeared to have many advantages over Reeder as governor. 
He had had years of practical political and diplomatic experience as con- 
gressman from Ohio and as minister to Mexico. He knew the frontier, 
having accompanied a party of forty-niners to California. Most important 
of all, he was a loyal Democrat, had voted dutifully for the Kansas- 
Nebraska Act, and all in all seemed ideal to represent the two wings of the 

Before Shannon's arrival, the Kansas legislature proceeded with its 
business. First and foremost, it passed a slave code abridging the Ameri- 
can rights of freedom of speech and of the press. The death penalty was 
imposed for helping a slave insurrection by either printed or spoken word. 
Death or imprisonment could be imposed for expressing an opinion cal- 
culated to help a slave escape. A fine of five hundred dollars might be 
imposed on anyone who refused to help apprehend a fugitive slave. Any 
person convicted of violating the Fugitive Slave Act or refusing to take 
an oath to uphold it was disfranchised, and the sheriff was empowered 
to exclude certain people from jury duty in cases that involved slavery. 
In addition, all voters were required to take an oath to uphold the ob- 
noxious laws, and no period of residence was specified as necessary for 
voters. Thus the fraudulent elections were upheld. 

It was useless to excuse these laws on the ground that they were similar 
to those in force in Missouri and other slave states. It was useless to point 
out that there were not enough slaves in all Kansas to warrant such ex- 
citement. These Missourians were working themselves into an emotional 
state where they would fight and die in defense of an institution that really 
affected them very little. Obviously the real issue in Kansas was whether a 
Missouri minority or the "foreign majority" should rule. Both sides were 
Democrats — one supported by the party's proslavery wing, the other 
by the free-staters. 

The proslavery legislature voted to establish a new capital and promptly 
speculated in land there. They named the site "Douglas" for the sponsor 
of the Kansas-Nebraska Act, but soon changed it to "Lecompton" for 
Judge S. D. Lecompte, the accommodating jurist whose decisions might 
be invaluable to the clique in power. A, G. Boone was elected vice-presi- 


dent of the Lecompton Town Company. An appropriation of fifty thou- 
sand dollars was voted for the proposed buildings. 

While these acts were being passed, disgruntled free-state voters as- 
sembled in many mass meetings. Between June 8 and August 15, 1855, 
seven conventions in Lawrence repudiated the legislature. 

Robinson's July Fourth speech about revolution was much too radical 
for most of them. Men liked to complain but hesitated to stage an insurrec- 
tion. It would be better, surely, to circumvent the proslavery legislature by 
peacefully electing a general convention to draft a free-state constitution 
and ask for admission into the Union under it. The only obstacle to this 
plan was the distrust of the free-state individuals for one another. Midland 
emigrants disliked Robinson's abolitionists almost as much as the Missouri 
usurpers. To them the human race was divided into three classes: "Yan- 
kees, niggers en white people." Yet they must combine with the codfish 
aristocrats or submit to the Lecompton machine. Evading the hated New 
England influence, they convened at Big Springs, a cluster of four or five 
shake-cabins and a hotel on the California road, halfway between Law- 
rence and Topeka. 

Eastern idealists watched this convention with the same excitement 
shown over the Kansas-Nebraska Act, but now the budding Republican 
Party had made it an issue. On July 13, 1855 — anniversary of the adop- 
tion of the Northwest Ordinance of 1787, which prohibited slavery north 
of the Ohio River — the Republicans held state conventions in Ohio, In- 
diana, Wisconsin, and Vermont. Robinson's associates doubtless wanted 
to start the party in Kansas, too, but a majority of the disaffected voters 
were still good Democrats. The Big Springs convention, however, might 
be a step in the new party's direction. 

Lane and Dr. Robinson, the likable Midwestern Satan and the New 
Englander's Jehovah, ran as rival candidates for delegate to the Big Springs 
convention — the beginning of an antagonism that would be lifelong and 
grow more bitter with the years. The two men were different as could be. 
Robinson was solemn, ministerial, dictatorial, not an organization man. 
He had never joined a church or a medical society. However, he repre- 
sented the Emigrant Aid Company, and the Sharps were brought from 
New England by his man, G. W. Deitzler. Lane had deplored the importa- 


tion of rifles, admitted that he was a Democrat — friend of Douglas and 
President Pierce — a "joiner" claiming membership in all organizations 
and brotherhoods. Robinson's followers called Lane a turncoat, pointed 
out that he had come to Kansas as a proslavery man, and even intimated 
that he changed only because the "bogus" legislature failed to grant his 

Lane thrived under the criticism. It gave him notoriety. Voters came to 
criticize the libertine and fell under the spell of his oratory. One old resi- 
dent recalled years later: "He talked like none of the others; none of the 
rest had his husky, rasping, bloodcurdling whisper or that menacing fore- 
finger, or could shriek 'Great God!' on the same day with him." Everyone 
acknowledged Lane's power over an audience. When the ballots were 
counted, Lane, instead of Robinson, was elected to represent the radical 
town of Lawrence at Big Springs. 

The free-state men were planning their Big Springs convention when 
the new governor, Wilson Shannon, came up the river with a Missouri 
entourage. He was a tall, well-built man, with gray hair and coarse fea- 
tures but pleasant eyes — just the kind of man for a frontier office. The 
legislature had adjourned at the Shawnee Mission, but an elaborate wel- 
coming assemblage awaited him at Westport. Fluent frontier orators as- 
sured the governor that in this recovered Eden, "the morning prayer is 
heard on every hill, the evening orison is chanted in every valley and 

Governor Shannon watched the sunburned faces — hearty, outdoor fel- 
lows of the old American stock. Surely they were not so blackhearted as 
pictured by the revolutionary party preparing to assemble at Big Springs, 
a day's drive west. 

Shannon told the welcoming multitude that he regretted the disposition 
of some settlers to nullify the laws passed by the legislature. He did not 
know the laws in question, but if they were unconstitutional, the courts 
should pronounce against them. To do otherwise was revolution — in 
short, treason. 

At Big Springs the free-state men assembled on September 5, 1855, 
knowing that the governor, the legally recognized legislature, and the 
judges appointed by the President were against them. So far, the United 


States Army had taken no part in the civil strife. Last spring it had 
marched out on the plains under the Southern sympathizer General Wil- 
liam S. Harney to chastise the Sioux at Ash Hollow. It would come back 
with the winds of winter. Until then the settlers might hold their own 
against the Missourians, but the ugly charge of treason troubled them. 

A hundred delegates assembled at the Big Springs cabins, and at least 
three hundred spectators came with them, including Ex-Governor 
Reeder — his trunk packed and his boat and train schedule prepared 
for the trip back to Pennsylvania. The delegates hailed Reeder everywhere 
he went, asked him to talk. In a formal speech he urged them to protect 
their rights "with the steady arm and sure eye" — Robinson's plea for 

The assemblage greeted this call for violence with a great cheer, but the 
resolutions they passed would have suited an old-line Democrat. To these 
settlers "free state" did not mean abolition, but only the right to rule them- 
selves without interference from the Missouri machine. The quicker Shan- 
non and Frank Pierce learned this, the better it would be for them. 

The free-state settlers determined to go ahead with their revolution — 
to organize a government of their own regardless of the one already func- 
tioning, and to draft a free-state constitution under which Kansas might 
be admitted to the Union. Lane and Robinson were both elected to take 
part in this movement, but the New Englander had become strangely 
conservative of late. He had received a letter from Amos A. Lawrence 
warning him to beware of treason and allow no one to fire the Sharps 
rifles at United States troops. Lane, on the other hand, had noted the 
popular demonstration in favor of violence, and as chairman of the execu- 
tive committee of the new government he issued scrip to pay delegates' 
expenses — a sly step, surely, toward holding their interest in the revolu- 
tion's success. 

The free-state constitutional convention assembled at Topeka in Octo- 
ber. Lane, always seeking notoriety, challenged to a duel Grosvenor P. Low- 
rey, secretary to Ex-Governor Reeder. The Grim Chieftain alleged that 
Lowrey had falsely accused him of improper relations with his wife. Robin- 
son and others tried to smooth over the misunderstanding. What would 
the Eastern idealists say ? Think of the philanthropists who were support- 
ing the free-state movement! Lane did not care. Easterners were not back- 


ing him. The duel must be held as arranged. On the morning scheduled 
for the fight, Lane addressed the convention with a philippic on patriotism 
and the importance of Kansas. His audience watched the speaker and 
the clock. As the hands moved toward the fatal hour, the Grim Chieftain 
closed his address with a flourish, picked up his hat, and, throwing his 
cloak around his shoulders, stalked dramatically from the building. 

I I I 

The Wakarusa War 

Ihe extralegal Topeka constitutional convention adjourned on Novem- 
ber ii, 1855. Lane credited himself, forever after, with being first to plan 
the free-state organization and to draft its platform. Robinson always 
maintained that the idea was his. How Lane settled his duel without fight- 
ing, yet with satisfaction to all, remains vague. Certainly he did not stop 
the whispering about his sexual irregularities, but his dramatics kept the 
prairie boys amused and inspired — two emotions Dr. Robinson could 
not arouse. 

The so-called Topeka Movement was treated with contempt by Gover- 
nor Shannon. A seasoned politician, as well as a California forty-niner who 
understood vigilantes, he had come to Kansas to straighten out a crooked 
situation for President Pierce. On the day he arrived in Kansas, Shannon 
learned about a free-state men's secret organization for the protection of 
their land claims, which was fully as unwarranted as the Missourians' 
self -defensive associations. A member of the society had just come to town 
as a fugitive, claiming that his life had been threatened for disclosing 
some of the secrets. He had killed his assailant, Samuel Collins, and 
wanted protection in the proslavery ranks. 

Shannon saw, at once, that the two communities, free-state and slave, 
could not coexist. Fugitives would continually dodge from one to the 
other. As governor, he would, of course, support the recognized legislature 
and make people submit to its laws. To demonstrate his position, he pre- 
sided at a Leavenworth "law and order" meeting, but even so, the pro- 
slavery faction did not feel secure. They realized only too well that the 
majority of settlers were behind the Topeka government, that the South 
must send more homemakers or the North would win Kansas. The Mis- 
souri politicians continued to prepare pleas for circulation in Southern 


United States Senator Robert Toombs, o£ Georgia, hearkened to the 
call and attended a meeting in Columbus to organize and send settlers. 
Accepting a pamphlet by Stringfellow as gospel, he told constituents that 
slaves could raise hemp, tobacco, wheat, and corn as profitably in Kansas 
as they could raise cotton. In adjoining Missouri, the number so engaged 
had doubled in a decade. Other speakers pointed out that only one dollar 
need be contributed for each slave owned in the fifteen Southern states to 
equal the sum raised by the Emigrant Aid Company. Let the South assess 
itself and surpass the New Englanders. 

In Alabama, Thomas J. Orme attempted unsuccessfully to raise men and 
money. A more enterprising Alabaman, Major Jefferson Buford, also cam- 
paigned for recruits. Buford, a lawyer and planter at Eufaula, had had 
military experience in the Seminole war. He proposed to open recruiting 
offices in the Carolinas, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana. To 
begin the financing of the project, he sold forty of his own plantation 
slaves. "I am not rich," he announced, "and have found no money, but 
have made what little I possess — have four small children of tender age to 
support, and, with less at stake than thousands of others, am only battling 
for our common section, against a powerful, untiring, fanatical enemy, 
who, fighting as he thinks for humanity, is in fact bringing degradation, 
desolation and woe to our beloved South." For every fifty dollars contrib- 
uted to his worthy cause Buford agreed to take one emigrant to Kansas, 
passage free, keep him a year, and give him forty acres of land — a more 
generous offer than the New England company made. Surely the South 
would respond and beat the Yankees. All that was now necessary for the 
slave sympathizers was to hold the status quo. The Southern emigrants, 
when they arrived, would vindicate President Pierce, and Governor Shan- 
non's immediate troubles, and quash the Boston zealots. The free-state 
men's persistence in issuing scrip for money, guaranteeing land claims, 
recording deeds, and ignoring the duly established courts and justices of 
the peace was revolution, but a solid majority of proslavery voters from 
the South would settle it. 

Serious trouble came sooner than Shannon expected. Ten miles south of 
Lawrence, in the timber area, property lines were difficult to determine. 
A free-state squatter, Charles Dow, disputed the line claimed by proslavery 
Franklin Coleman, a man of property who had come out from Kansas 


City. A free-state neighbor, Jacob Branson, helped Dow drive Coleman 
off the land in question. Later in the day, as Dow walked from a nearby 
blacksmith shop, he met Coleman on the road. What passed between them 
is not known, but Dow's body was found thirty yards beyond the meeting 
place, his back riddled with shotgun slugs — Coleman's ammunition. 

This murder of a free-state man by a proslavery settler created more 
excitement than the killing of the proslavery man by the free-state settler 
last November. The intervening months had taught free-state men to hate 
all proslavery Missourians. Moreover, Eastern philanthropists promised to 
back free-state resistance. To avenge Dow's death they grabbed their 
guns and threatened vengeance. Coleman and his proslavery neighbors — 
some fifteen families — packed their wagons and whipped away to the 
Shawnee Mission, determined to get help and return to their homes. News 
of the murder was carried by spurring riders to other free-state communi- 
ties. A hundred men congregated at the fateful scene. Only two of them 
from Lawrence — Sam N. Wood, the little Ohio Quaker who had re- 
sponded to Robinson's belligerent Fourth of July speech, and Sam F. Tap- 
pan, correspondent for the Boston Journal and New Yor\ Times. These 
young newspaper reporters had come to make news as well as report it. 

Lane had just issued a formal Thanksgiving proclamation in the name 
of the Topeka government, and the crowd felt confident of protection un- 
der its authority. Assembled along the road, they passed resolutions of 
condolence to Dow's family, and vowed to bring the murderer to justice. 
Many of the group wanted to burn all vacated proslavery settlers' cabins in 
the neighborhood. Sam Wood spoke out against this, but after dark three 
homes crackled up in flames. 

Meanwhile, at the mission, the proslavery refugees appealed to the law 
for protection. Coleman obtained an order for Branson's arrest, alleging 
that the fellow had threatened personal vengeance, must be restrained and 
bonded to keep the peace. The new sheriff of Douglas County, Samuel J. 
Jones, set off in the night, with Coleman as guide, to serve the process. 
Having succeeded as leader of an election mob near Bloomington in the 
preceding March, this violent and courageous son-in-law of A. G. Boone 
determined to have his new office of sheriff properly respected. Time had 
come to assert proslavery authority in the Lawrence free-state community! 

Sheriff Jones, with a nine-man posse, drew rein at Branson's cabin some- 


time after midnight. The sheriff dismounted and knocked. Mrs. Branson 
peeped out and asked the men their business. Jones pushed in, pointed a 
seven-shooter at her husband, and ordered him to get up. Branson rolled 
sullenly out of bed, pulled on his trousers, struggled into his coat, took his 
tattered straw hat from its peg, and padded barefoot into the night. The 
posse had no horse for him to ride, but someone led up a saddleless mule, 
which he mounted. Arrogant now, Jones started along the road to Law- 
rence, but news of the arrest traveled ahead of him. At Blanton's Crossing 
of the Wakarusa, fives miles from town, a mob stood in the road. Armed 
with Sharps rifles, squirrel guns, and rocks, they stopped the sheriff, 
rescued Branson, and threatened to lynch Coleman. Jones swore furious 
retaliation against them all, including the radical town of Lawrence, and 
clattered off in the dark. 

Tappan and Wood, both members of the mob again, realized that 
trouble was imminent. With a few friends, they set off to warn the people 
of Lawrence. They went first to the home of their fellow abolitionist, Dr. 
Robinson, on Mount Oread. Dawn was breaking as the doctor came sleep- 
ily to the door, listened to their story, then told them to go down the hill, 
call a mass meeting of citizens for eight o'clock that morning. He would 
dress and be present. 

At the appointed time, Robinson walked into the assemblage. None of 
his fiery July Fourth oratory illuminated his solemn, studious face this 
morning. Indeed, since receiving that warning letter from Amos A. Law- 
rence, he had become a cautious man. Robinson explained that the people 
of Lawrence might have to suffer for something done by outsiders. The 
entire town would be blamed. He proposed that they all disclaim implica- 
tion of any kind, but arm themselves and protect their property from 
plunderers. If any violence occurred, let the Missourians be the aggressors. 

Meantime, Sheriff Jones had arrived in Franklin, a proslavery hamlet on 
the Wakarusa only three miles from Lawrence. Before going to bed, he 
sent a messenger to Governor Shannon announcing that his authority had 
been flouted, his prisoner rescued, and Coleman threatened with lynching. 
The militia must be called out to maintain peace. Three thousand men 
would be needed. 

Shannon's duty seemed clear. He had heard much about the domineer- 
ing free-state men. He would show them that law and order had come. 


As governor, he issued a call for the militia. To his amazement only a 
handful responded. Obviously, the majority of the citizens were free-state! 
His friends explained that the territorial guard was as yet unorganized. 
The notorious Daniel Woodson, secretary of the territory, sent a call for 
Missouri's Platte County Rifles to come at once. He ended the appeal 
with: "Do not implicate the governor, whatever you do." 

Shannon should have realized the true state of affairs now, but having 
taken the side of the "bogus" government, he did what weak men — aver- 
age men, perhaps — always do. He tried to rectify his mistake by getting 
himself deeper into the injustice. He appealed to the Federal troops at 
Fort Leavenworth. By coincidence, Colonel Edwin V. Sumner was in 
command there. His superior — aristocratic, handsome, proslavery General 
Harney — had gone on a trip to Europe with his wealthy St. Louis wife. 
Sumner had been ordered to spend the winter at Fort Laramie, but had 
risked court-martial by coming back rather than lose his horses by starva- 
tion on the distant plains. The colonel was called "Old Bull Sumner" by 
his men because he removed his upper teeth and bellowed before leading a 
charge. Sumner, like fiery little Captain Lyon at Fort Riley, was an anti- 
slavery man. He refused to send soldiers to the governor unless ordered to 
do so from Washington. Shannon wired the President. However, before a 
satisfactory reply was received, a Missouri "army" of fifteen hundred men 
straggled across the border toward Lawrence. Two wagonloads of guns 
came from as far away as Jefferson City, the Missouri capital. Seven can- 
non were brought from the Federal arsenal at Liberty, Missouri. Long, 
lean, and likable Hiram Bledsoe marched a company from Lexington, 
Missouri, trundling a Mexican War cannon said to have been cast from 
Chihuahua church bells. Missouri's hero, Alexander W. Doniphan, had 
captured several at Sacramento and distributed them as war relics in the 
river towns. For years Bledsoe had been firing this ancient gun at Fourth 
of July celebrations. From Waverly, Missouri, young Jo Shelby rode in 
again — with fighting men, not voters, this time. Senator Atchison came 
again also, as peacemaker, he claimed, to keep the Missourians under con- 
trol and to counsel forbearance — a plausible but unconvincing defense. 
Free-state settlers watched the enemy muster at Franklin on the Wakarusa, 
three miles from Lawrence, and pitch their tents. 

No man in Lawrence had any experience in military command except 


Jim Lane, but Robinson succeeded in being elected "major general'* with 
Lane second in command. The Grim Chieftain took over at once, ordered 
the men drilled, and set them to work constructing live blockhouses. Sup- 
plies were purchased in stores and paid for in scrip, increasing still more 
the free-state men's interest in their revolutionary government. Night and 
day, men worked in details of fifty, shoveling, hewing, and hammering. 
They could hear cannon being fired in practice on the Wakarusa. Pickets 
at Lawrence tested their own marksmanship by shooting at floating logs 
in the river, until ordered to save powder for the fight ahead. Over two 
hundred volunteer defenders came from outlying settlements. One wagon, 
hauled by a skeleton of a horse, contained seven tall, angular giants, each 
holding a pole surmounted by a bayonet. A pistol and short navy sword 
protruded from each man's belt. The strangers were named Brown — old 
John and his boys from Osawatomie Creek. This sudden influx of volun- 
teers taxed the town's food supplies. The enemy, holding the roads to the 
Missouri, appropriated incoming groceries, guns, and ammunition. Cattle 
belonging to free-state settlers on the prairie furnished the invaders with 
much-needed meat. 

For the first time now, Kansas and Missouri armies faced one another, 
both with cannon peeping over fortifications — the beginning of a civil 
war that would last until 1865. On December 2, 1855, Mrs. Hannah Ander- 
son Ropes, who had recently come from Boston with two children — a son, 
eighteen, and daughter, eleven — wrote her sister-in-law: "Now I must 
tell you, we are in the midst of most serious preparations for defensive war. 
It is a week today since the rumor first reached Lawrence, that it is to be 
destroyed. Everybody is armed and everybody sleeps with their arms about 
them and clothes on." 

Mrs. Ropes had partitioned a corner of her room for her son and another 
soldier. A second rifleman slept, under a bufTalo robe, in the attic. "I am 
getting quite used to fire arms," she continued. "They all give me charge 
whenever they get in, at whatever hour, to be sure and call them if I hear 
the call drum — Our cabin is on the outskirts of the town, and quite in 
view of the prairie over which the Missourians must come. You can im- 
agine how many times I listen while the weary men sleep, and how often 
I take a peep of? to see if they are coming in upon us in the night time. 
Several tribes of Indians have sent in word that they will stand by us. . . ." 


The balmy December weather turned suddenly cold, with wind and 
biting snow. Farmer volunteers remembered warm beds in their distant 
cabins. One man complained, as he shoveled frozen dirt, "We had all better 
be at home fixing up for winter than fooling our time away here." 
Grumbling became contagious. "General" Lane, riding around to inspect 
the work, noted the disaffection. He dismounted and sprang upon the near- 
est embankment. The men put down their picks and shovels to watch 
him. Lane began to speak in a soft tone. In a minute the street was full of 
men. As the audience grew, so did Lane's ardor. One listener reported: 

He became afire with eloquence. Off went his large, circular military 
cloak, next his hat, soon his coat, as he saw his appeal was telling; then 
his vest followed . . . and his necktie was soon lying with his other 
clothing upon the ground, his shirt was unbuttoned down the front, 
while shouts and cheers of applause went up from the men. 

Next his shirt-sleeves were unbuttoned and rolled above his elbows, 
and as he paced, like some wild animal, rapidly back and forth on the 
embankment, with the perspiration standing in great beads upon his face, 
notwithstanding it was a sharp December day, he poured forth a stream 
of eloquence. . . . 

What Lane said and what he advocated will remain a disputed point 
between those who agreed or disagreed with him later. Did Lane merely 
want to keep the men from deserting, or did he try to precipitate an im- 
mediate attack on the entrenched enemy? Some maintained that an ag- 
gressive detail was preparing for a sortie on the Wakarusa at midnight, 
but Robinson, the top commander, learned about it and countermanded 
the order. If so, this added more bitterness to the growing jealousy between 
Robinson and Lane, the New Englander and the Midwesterner. 

A few men in Lawrence hoped to forestall hostilities by a last-minute 
appeal to the governor. After midnight, two rode off to the Shawnee Mis- 
sion. They were stopped at the Wakarusa, then allowed to pass. Next 
morning they called on the governor. He had heard about the proposed 
resistance to his administration, and was determined to have his authority 
respected. The peace envoys — one of them G. P. Lowrey — urged the 
governor to come and see the true situation for himself. A thousand em- 
battled farmers could not be altogether wrong. Shannon called peremp- 
torily for his two-horse buggy. "I shall go to Lawrence," he said, "and in- 


sist upon the people agreeing to obey the laws and delivering up their 
Sharps rifles." The messengers reminded Shannon that the citizens of 
Lawrence had resisted no laws, and if he thought that they would give up 
the time-honored American right of bearing arms, he had better not risk 
his own neck by trying to stop them. 

Shannon wanted to be fair. He bundled himself in a greatcoat and 
with A. G. Boone, the wealthy trader, as his companion, settled in the back 
seat of the buggy. Lurching over the frozen roads across the prairie, black 
and desolate from fires, the travelers learned about the first casualty of the 
"war." Only yesterday, as the free-state emissaries had ridden out, three of 
the farmer volunteers — a young man named Thomas Barber, his brother, 
and brother-in-law — had decided to go home. If they had listened to 
Lane's oratory, it had not influenced them. On the California road they 
saw a Missouri patrol and turned off into the high prairie grass, galloping 

The patrol was in charge of "Major" George W. Clarke, notorious In- 
dian agent who had suffered from the actions of the Lawrence claim as- 
sociation. To him the three horsemen looked suspicious. With two com- 
panions, he galloped after them, called a halt, and ordered the boys back 
to his patrol. The free-staters argued, refused to go, and spurred their 
horses forward. A few shots were exchanged. A patroller said later that 
he knew one of the abolitionists was hit. He saw "fur fly from his old 
great coat." Barber's own companions believed no one hurt, until Thomas 
muttered, as they galloped along, "My God! I am a murdered man!" 
Then he slipped from the saddle as his brother reached to catch him. 
Clarke, leader of the patrol, was always blamed for the killing. 

A riderless horse trotted into Barber's barnyard with reins trailing. The 
womenfolk comforted themselves with the hope that the animal had got 
loose in town, but before dark the men came and took them all to Law- 
rence, where Barber's body was laid out. 

Governor Shannon listened to the story and, of course, regretted it — 
but this could hardly be called war. However, when he arrived on the 
Wakarusa, he saw the army of noisy, carousing men clamoring for an at- 
tack on the village three miles beyond. He could not help noticing that 
these rowdies were Missourians, assembled to fight Kansans. 

The executive party drove on through their lines and across the prairie 


to Lawrence, where they were formally halted by a sentry and conducted 
to the revolutionary chieftains, Robinson and Lane. Shannon stepped 
stiffly out of the carriage. Here was a diplomatic mission more delicate 
than anything he had attempted as minister to Mexico! 

The free-state "generals" greeted the travelers cordially, warmed them 
with wine, and suggested that the governor speak to the townspeople in 
the Eldridge House. An upper room had been arranged for the meeting. 
The famous portholed building was still unfinished but, like the free-state 
hotel in Kansas City, was shaping up into one of the finest in the West. 
These New Englanders built magnificently. 

Curious women in Lawrence watched the newcomers enter the hotel 
and pick their way through kegs of nails, buckets of mortar, and piles of 
lumber. They noticed the governor's red face and steel-gray hair, his rusty 
black frock coat buttoned tightly around his thickset body. Beside him 
strode the tall and handsome Colonel Boone — r a gracious gentleman of the 
old school who looked, acted, and dressed the part. "Hard to believe, isn't 
it, that he led an expedition of mountain men to the Rockies only last 

The two envoys climbed the stairs. In the upper hall they passed the 
body of Barber, lying, in farm clothes, on a table. The young widow sobbed 
audibly in an adjoining room. Mrs. Robinson heard Boone say to the 
governor, "I did not expect this." 

At the meeting, the governor listened intently to the free-state men's side 
of the difficulty. He could find no concerted effort on the part of the citi- 
zens to thwart an arrest in their town, but obviously they were determined 
to defend their homes from an attack by Missourians. The scales fell from 
Shannon's eyes at last. Those ruffians yonder, across the prairie, could 
never justify their whiskey threats to sack this town. But what should he 
do? How could he induce them to go home? The governor asked Robin- 
son and Lane to accompany him, under a flag of truce, to the enemy lines 
and tell the men there what they had told him. 

Back on the Wakarusa the "army" assembled for a parley and after 
listening to the governor and his companions, agreed to go back to Mis- 
souri. Then Shannon returned to Lawrence and signed a "treaty" with the 
free-state "generals": they agreeing not to resist the execution of any legal 
process, the governor agreeing not to call on residents of any other state 


to aid in the execution of the laws — weasel words, for both agreements 
depended on definitions of terms. At best, the "treaty" was nothing but a 
stay of immediate hostilities. However, both sides had saved face and 
could report success. Neither reckoned with wily Jim Lane, who held a 
card in his sleeve to play against the governor at the first opportunity. 

Another storm lowered, and the Missourians on the Wakarusa showed 
no sign of striking their tents. Were they, or were they not, going home? 
During the evening the Lawrence people congregated in the hotel again. 
Sentries still patrolled the town. Mrs. Ropes noticed that the governor ap- 
peared nervous, distinctly unhappy. He kept looking out the window into 
the driving storm. The Missourians were angry, he said, because he had 
interfered in the interests of peace. They had objected to his coming back 
to Lawrence from their camp and, in their anger, might rush the town 
and lynch him. This fear gave Lane an opportunity to play his hidden card. 

A messenger came to the distraught governor stating that armed men 
were approaching the town. Would he give the people of Lawrence per- 
mission in writing to repel the invaders ? The governor paused a moment 
and scratched his coarse gray hair. Here was a pretty state of affairs. He 
had come to enforce submission to the Missouri militia and was now asked 
to acknowledge sovereignty to the free-state outlaws. However, with his 
own life endangered, it seemed best to authorize the people of Lawrence 
to protect him. He signed the paper. 

Before morning, Shannon learned that no attack had come. He asked 
for the suppression of his signed statement, but it was too late. Multiple 
copies had been given to the ambitious young journalists, and stories of 
Shannon's capitulation were far on their way toward Eastern newspapers. 
The governor, in a great hufif, wrote a long letter to President Pierce, 
claiming that he had been deceived, tricked, had not read the whole paper 
he signed in the urgency of the moment — all the excuses usually manu- 
factured by a weak man with a strong imagination. Some said later that 
Lane got the governor drunk before the signing, and became pretty well 
intoxicated himself. Others maintained that the Grim Chieftain drank 
from a different and less potent bottle. As Lane never drank, it seems 
more likely that Shannon was the prey of his natural inclination to be 
swayed by the company around him. 

Thus the Wakarusa War ended with the killing of Barber. Free-staters, 


as well as proslavery men, packed their wagons to go home, firebrands on 
both sides sputtering. In Lawrence, tall, angular John Brown, with Puri- 
tan strength in his deeply lined face, mounted a dry-goods box to denounce 
the "treaty." His blue-gray eyes glowed with unworldly intensity as he 
castigated the base surrender of a principle that could be upheld only by 
shedding blood. Bystanders helped him down before the speech was well 
started. Old Brown had come to Kansas in October to live with his sons, 
one of whom had taken a minor part in the Big Springs meeting. The "old 
man" — he was fifty-five — had become conspicuously belligerent during 
the siege, and was in the little party that wanted to attack the enemy at 
midnight. He returned to his sons' homesteads smoldering with resent- 

On December 15, 1855, tne people assembled again to vote on the now 
much-discussed Topeka Constitution, and on the same day Barber was 
buried with state formality. His body had been held nine days for this 
event. Lane and Robinson, by slow steps, had changed places. Robinson 
was now thoroughly conservative, but Lane was becoming more and more 
radical. The Grim Chieftain had watched the Western men rally to 
Reeder's revolutionary talk at Big Springs last fall and to his own oratory 
on the Lawrence embankments. Still a good Democrat, a national Demo- 
crat, he had tired of moderation. In his best stump manner he reminded 
the audience, "You still retain the rifles you know so well how to use. The 
ladies — God bless them! — are still among us, to encourage manly and 
chivalric deeds." 

The dramatic scene was followed by a vote on the Topeka Constitution, 
which ratified it by a safe majority, disclosing without doubt the will of the 
Kansas settlers. Now let Douglas and Pierce demonstrate their sincerity 
by approving squatter sovereignty! 

Thus, by New Year's Day, 1856, the free-state settlers had triumphed in 
a two-year struggle, suffering surprisingly few fatalities — probably three 
all told. Several emigrants had been manhandled but not killed, notably 
William Phillips, attorney at Leavenworth, and Reverend Pardee But- 
ler, an itinerant abolition preacher at Atchison. However, the South 
had hardly started to send colonizers. Let Buford's men come. The final 
test of strength and resourcefulness between the sections would be part 
and parcel of the presidential election of 1856. 

I V 
The Crime Against Kansas 

Colonel edwin v. sumner watched the Kansas winter of 1 855-1 856 
through the frosted windows of Fort Leavenworth — the worst blizzard 
on record, killing plains cattle by thousands as far south as Texas. In Mis- 
souri towns, more freight accumulated than usual, for the spring overland 
trade was to be augmented by the biggest Kansas rush yet known. Old 
Bull Sumner disliked the prospect of summer police duty among political 
partisans. The stress of regular army jealousy over promotion was bad 
enough without adding the strain of civil politics. Sumner was already in 
trouble with General Harney for disobeying orders on the plains last fall, 
and he would have to restrain his own antislavery assertions. That fanatic 
Captain Lyon, out at Fort Riley, was getting a bad reputation. Mess-hall 
gossips said that he would "foam at the mouth" in arguments with fellow 
officers over slavery. 

The prejudices of other officers in Sumner's department were harder to 
fathom. The Virginian Lieutenant Colonel Joseph E. Johnston was sure 
to be a proslavery Harney man. So was brand-new Lieutenant J. E. B. 
Stuart, just arrived from West Point. A dashing horseman, bearded to the 
eyes like a Cossack, he had swept the daughter of literary Lieutenant 
Colonel Philip St. George Cooke completely off her feet, satin slippers, 
crinoline and all. The happy bridegroom waited, like Sumner, for spring. 
A conventional young man with a reputation for being religious and — 
paradoxically — combative, he scuffled at every opportunity with officers 
his age. Soldiers on parade stepped briskly to his shrill metallic com- 
mands. He loved to train things — horses or men — and was said to pet 
his favorite mount even more than his bride. The animal followed him 
around like a dog. Jeb Stuart wanted to fight Indians, but he was not 
averse to putting free-soil settlers in their place. 


The officers could keep informed on the growing political friction 
around them by reading five local newspapers — two proslavery and three 
free-state. Few of them did so, however, but all understood that both fac- 
tions were oiling their guns for the decisive struggle that was coming after 
the second winter of agitation and preparation. 

In January 1856, the free-state rebels held their election for legislators to 
the illegal Topeka government. Few disturbances were reported at the 
polls except along the river where proslavery Missouri settlers tried to stop 
all voting. In a skirmish at Easton on election night a proslavery man was 
killed. Next day the so-called Kickapoo Rangers waylaid R. P. Brown, a 
drawling Kentucky free-stater, recently back from the defense of Lawrence 
in the Wakarusa War, and arrested him for murdering the proslavery 
man. Someone chopped the accused man's head open with a hatchet. His 
tormented body was tossed into a wagon and hauled across the snow-swept 
plains. "I am very cold," he moaned. The vindictive tormentors spit to- 
bacco juice in his gashes, saying, "Anything would make a damned aboli- 
tionist feel better." At his cabin, the still-living body was dumped out with 
the curt words to his wife, "Here's Brown." At least, this was the story the 
free-state newspaper reporters sent East, and it was widely copied. 

When the ballots were counted, the entire free-state ticket was found 
elected, including abolitionist Robinson for "governor" — a notable new 
trend in Kansas politics, for most of the legislators elected were Demo- 
crats, very different from the New England radicals. Obviously, the set- 
tlers now associated political injustice with slavery and voted accordingly 
— a prejudice expressed as early as the Big Springs convention. 

The proslavery press denounced this plebiscite. Stringfellow's Squatter 
Sovereign and the Kic\apoo Pioneer urged the people to hang and shoot 
every "black and poisonous" abolitionist. 

In Washington, President Pierce worried about the revolution's growth, 
the failure of his administration to cope with the critical situation. Two 
objectives always loomed in his mind above other considerations — his 
own renomination for the presidency in the spring, and the preservation 
of the Democratic Party. He sent for Governor Shannon, on leave in Ohio, 
and the two conferred confidentially. Diplomat Shannon agreed with the 
President better than had Reeder. Certainly the Kansas elections had been 
fraudulent, but they had been accepted, and the Atchison group would not 


surrender now. If the administration reversed itself at this late date, the 
party might lose its Southern Wing. Pierce felt confident that most Kan- 
sans wanted peace. With that restored — even by force — the people would 
surely submit and be happy, but so long as violence continued, the national 
Democratic administration was under constant fire from the new so-called 
Republicans. Peace, peace and harmony, Pierce reiterated, peace and pros- 
perity, rather than majority rule — the dictator's choice — were his ob- 

To enforce peace and the recognized laws, President Pierce offered 
Shannon the United States Army, and the governor returned to Kansas. 
On March 4, 1856, the Topeka legislature met and approved a memorial, 
addressed to Congress, seeking admission of Kansas as a state under the 
new constitution. Lane and Robinson set off for Washington with hope 
in their hearts and the document in their pockets — Robinson to work 
with the anti-Nebraska Republicans, Lane with the old-line Democrats. 
Here, at last, was a chance for the President to end the Kansas trouble 
and prove the sincerity of his belief in squatter sovereignty. 

The United States House of Representatives, with its anti-Nebraska ma- 
jority, voted to accept the free-state organic act. Then Lane turned to the 
Senate, which was controlled by the administration. Astutely, the Grim 
Chieftain consulted ancient Lewis Cass, veteran Democratic senator who 
had originated the doctrine of squatter sovereignty. Cass and Lane had 
both voted for the Kansas-Nebraska bill, and now, in all fairness, wanted 
Kansas admitted under a free-state constitution, since the squatters willed 
it. Cass agreed to introduce an enabling act. Republican William H. Sew- 
ard, the challenger of the South, spoke on April 9, 1856, for immediate 

Senator Douglas objected. He strode out on his short legs, Websterian 
forehead wrinkled with emotion, to defend the administration and make 
one more attempt to hold the Democratic Party together. Many objections 
to an enabling act at this time could be made. Kansas had insufficient 
population for statehood. Let the much-publicized Southern aid companies 
send their emigrants to Kansas and then follow the will of the squatters — 
valid objections, certainly more justifiable than Pierce's discharge of 
Reeder to appease the Atchison faction. However, Douglas went one step 
further. He questioned the memorial's genuineness. Slapping the docu- 


ment with the back of his pudgy hand, he accused Lane of bringing a 
partially forged document. 

A vote was taken on the Kansas memorial, and the state was denied 
admission under the Topeka Constitution. Lane immediately challenged 
Senator Douglas to a duel, which Douglas declined as coming from one of 
inferior station. Lane was deeply insulted and when the Grim Chieftain 
resolved to get even with a man, he usually succeeded. 

The thwarted House of Representatives resolved to send a committee of 
investigation to Kansas and learn the truth. Speaker Nathaniel Banks, 
Jr., appointed John Sherman, Ohio Republican whose brother William 
Tecumseh was in the army out in Oregon; Mordecai Oliver, elderly Whig 
from the Missouri border, who did not want to serve; and William How- 
ard, Republican from Michigan — surely no committee to save the Demo- 
cratic Party. The three men, with clerks and secretaries, started to Kansas, 
while Lane toured the Eastern states criticizing the administration's ac- 
tions — a Democrat flaying the Democrats. As he and a dozen other speak- 
ers were lecturing, the congressional committee arrived at Kansas City 
landing in April 1856. They loaded their carpetbags in a hack and drove 
up the hill to the booming village of Westport. All about them the streets 
were lined with wagons. In pens on every side hundreds of horses, mules, 
and cattle stamped in the hot mud, switching tails at myriads of flies. 
Under long sheds the committeemen saw glowing forges, heard hammers 
ringing on anvils, smelled burning hoofs. 

Sherman had brought along his wife. He pointed out to her the pictur- 
esque drovers in broad hats, flannel shirts, homespun trousers tucked in 
cowhide boots, knives and pistols at their belts. No wonder democracy 
functioned awkwardly among such individualistic barbarians! Here were 
Indians, half-bloods, Mexicans, and Americans, "as rough a set of men of 
mixed color, tribe and nativity as could be found anywhere in the world," 
Sherman said. 

The committee drove first to Lecompton, a cluster of rude frame and 
log buildings around an unfinished "capitol." Lodging houses were 
crowded, with ten or fifteen men sleeping in a single room. The most com- 
modious and best patronized place in town was a barroom. The committee 
clerks were set to work copying records pertinent to their investigation. 
John Sherman and his wife drove on to Lawrence, eight miles away. They 


found this little New England village very different from the frontier 
capital — neat as Boston Common, but fortified with redoubts and block- 

Other members of the committee soon arrived and had hardly sat down 
to take testimony before the long-heralded emigrants from Dixie disem- 
barked at Kansas City. A rising young newspaperman in Westport, Henry 
Clay Pate, had toured the South last winter and reported that settlers were 
coming "by thousands." Pate hoped to retrieve his fortune with an anti- 
abolitionist journal, the Border Star. He had failed with an anti-Catholic 
Know-Nothing paper in Cincinnati in 1853. Milt McGee read Pate's glow- 
ing account of the impending migration and began work on a hotel — as 
fine as the Kansas City free-state hostelry — to accommodate "Southern 

The first big contingent consisted of four hundred, all on one boat — 
the much-touted Jefferson Buford party. Pate described them in his news- 
paper as mechanics, physicians, lawyers, and civil engineers. Southern 
towns had celebrated their departure with patriotic speeches, and a sub- 
scription had been raised to purchase Holy Scriptures for each man. The 
Alabama group all wore white silk badges inscribed Bibles — not Rifles. 
They embarked at New Orleans. At Cairo, Illinois, where the steamboat 
stopped to unload iron rails for the new Illinois Central Railroad, a re- 
porter described the emigrants as "the most despicable ruffians and cut- 
throats." Another antislavery paper delighted in announcing that Buford's 
strong box had been broken open and I5000 stolen, presumably by his own 
patriots. Most of the men enlisted in Alabama and South Carolina. Fifty 
came from Georgia, one from Illinois, and one from Boston. At Kansas 
City they marched off the boat waving the state flags of Alabama and 
South Carolina along with banners inscribed Kansas the outpost and 
supremacy of the white race. Were these Southern states invading a 
United States territory as Missouri had done repeatedly ? 

In military array, Budford's men marched up the hill and across to West- 
port to be welcomed at the Harris House, opposite Boone's store. A crowd 
had waited since eight in the morning. Henry Clay Pate opened the meet- 
ing with his best Southern oratory. He welcomed the "army" as fellow 
Georgians come to settle in Lawrence and "beard the lion in his den." 
Pate followed this quotation from Sir Walter Scott with a discussion of 


the constitutionality of secession. He ended by crying: "Should this arm 
ever fail to lift itself in defense of the Union when menaced, let God strike 
it with palsy terrible as the curse of Ananias and Sapphira! But if Kansas 
is to be kept out of the Union because of slavery in her Constitution, the 
Union, instead of being an instrument of justice, is an instrument of injus- 
tice, and therefore a nullity." 

Then J. W. Whitfield, the proslavery Indian agent who had been 
elected territorial representative to Congress, made a few spirited and 
amusing remarks in his thick-tongued Tennessee drawl. Next, Major 
Buford was presented with a fine horse and saddle. He accepted the gift, 
stated that his men had come to help fill the territory peaceably and hoped 
to buy several hundred horses — a remark that must have made Milt Mc- 
Gee rub his cupped hand expectantly. 

The congressional investigating committee now in Lawrence read about 
the reception. They also noted that the newcomers did not take up home- 
steads or even get employment over at Lecompton, where plenty of work 
was available on the new capitol buildings. Free-state men complained 
that their taxes were paying for that work, and they did not intend to 
tolerate it much longer. Then proslavery Judge S. D. Lecompte put a 
stop to possible subversiveness by issuing subpoenas for Robinson, Reeder, 
Lane, and others — including Dan Anthony at Leavenworth — to appear 
before a grand jury on charges of treason. True, these men had all par- 
ticipated in forming the Topeka government regardless of the Lecompton 
government, but heretofore treason had been defined as bearing arms to 
overthrow the government, and this the free-state men had been careful 
to avoid. It was thought, with some reason, that the subpoenas were not 
for the purpose of getting indictments but to scare the leaders out of the 
country before they testified at the committee of inquiry hearings. John 
Sherman talked over the ugly situation with Robinson and urged him to 
leave the territory as soon as possible, but to take a copy of the commit- 
tee's findings with him for delivery to Nathaniel Banks, speaker of the 

The free-state "governor" and his wife promptly left for the river and 
boarded a steamboat. Snugly ensconced in a stateroom, the couple were 
reading themselves to sleep when the vessel docked at Lexington, Missouri. 
They heard the ship's clerk remonstrating with a noisy crowd at the gang- 


plank. Then many feet scuffled along the deck, and the sheriff knocked at 
their stateroom with a warrant. He explained, through the door, that the 
complaint charged Robinson with escaping from an indictment for 

Mrs. Robinson's face hardened. A woman of more than usual physical 
courage, her strong nose betokened aggressiveness and her slightly pro- 
truding lower lip stubbornness. "They will kill you if you go," she whis- 
pered, "and you may as well make a stand here." 

The "governor" reached for his pistol — a feeble weapon against a mob. 
Then, with fatalistic resignation equal to his wife's emotional fury, he 
said that he would surrender. Dressing quickly, he stepped out and went 
with the sheriff, who sent him back a prisoner to Lecompton. Mrs. Robin- 
son continued the voyage, taking all the incriminating testimony so far 
collected by the committee. She planned to visit her family in New 
England, where many zealots would be interested in her experience. 
On her way, she would stop and see the Democratic governor of Ohio, 
Salmon P. Chase, who as senator had dared defy the President when 
the Kansas-Nebraska bill was made a party measure. She would also 
offer her services as a lecturer on any platform where her story might 
help the cause of freedom. In Illinois a convention was being planned 
to organize the Republican Party. She might talk there. Abraham 
Lincoln, Whig politician, was said to be much interested in the proceed- 

The proposed treason arrests had not stopped with Robinson's flight. 
"Senator" Reeder, the ex-governor, resisted — peaceably — an arrest by 
United States Deputy Marshal William F. Fain. The crowd hooted and 
Deputy Fain stalked away without his prisoner. Shortly thereafter, Sheriff 
Jones with three deputies arrested Samuel Wood, the Hicksite Quaker 
accused of abetting the rescue of Jacob Branson five months before. A few 
young men in Lawrence mobbed the four officers and liberated their 
friend. Next day — Sunday, April 20, 1856 — Jones returned with a 
ten-man posse. On the street he met and attempted to arrest Sam 
Tappan. Church services had just ended, and the posse found them- 
selves surrounded by a hooting, groaning congregation. The ten men 
decided to return to Lecompton without any prisoners. Jones was thor- 
oughly aroused. He now had a good case against the townsmen of 


Lawrence for resisting territorial laws. Appealing to Governor Shannon, 
he was given a detail of United States dragoons in charge of Lieutenant 
James Mcintosh, and with these he returned on April 23. However, all 
the culprits had disappeared. 

That night the soldiers encamped on a vacant lot northeast of the El- 
dridge House. Sheriff Jones lodged with Lieutenant Mcintosh and popped 
in and out of the tent officiously. A crowd gathered to watch him. At dusk 
a few bystanders began to pelt him with eggs. Jones stepped to a water 
barrel to sponge his clothes, when a bullet set the water splashing. He 
darted back into the tent. "I believe that was intended for me," he said, 
examining a hole in his trousers. "That was intended for me," he con- 

Lieutenant Mcintosh threw back the tent flap and strode out. He walked 
across to the crowd and mingled with it. Charlie Lenhardt, a printer on 
the Herald of Freedom, peered in the door of the illuminated tent and saw 
Jones sitting on a cot. Charlie withdrew in the dark, and a few moments 
later another shot flashed and Jones toppled over. Soldiers, running out to 
investigate, stumbled over the guy ropes, and the would-be murderer 

Charlie Lenhardt admitted throwing the eggs and shooting into the 
barrel but denied the second shot. Moreover, Jones's wound was question- 
able. He was taken hurriedly back to Lecompton. Dr. Stringfellow refused 
to let people interview the wounded man, and he was soon in the saddle 
again. The Squatter Sovereign screamed for vengeance: "We are now in 
favor of leveling Lawrence and chastising the traitors there congregated, 
should it result in the total destruction of the Union." 

The congressional investigating committee moved on to Leavenworth 
and then to Westport in time to witness a new invasion of Missourians. 
Sheriff Jones had cried for help, and the United States Marshal at Lecomp- 
ton, Israel B. Donaldson, had issued a proclamation calling all law-abiding 
citizens to muster and help enforce the laws. The call was answered, as it 
had been in the past, by Missourians, and the investigating committee 
watched them stream through town by hundreds to enforce Kansas laws. 
Squatter sovereignty indeed! With this last evidence of illegal administra- 
tion — of a dictatorial machine assuming authority in the name of the 
people — the congressmen boarded the boat for home. 


Ex-Governor Reeder, in Lawrence, realized that he would soon be ar- 
rested for treason. In disguise he slipped quietly from town and, with 
Gaius Jenkins, traveled fifty miles of prairie to Kansas City, arriving the 
day of Donaldson's proclamation. The Eldridge brothers gave the fugitives 
accommodations at the American Hotel, cautioning them to stay in their 
rooms, and to beware of dangerous guests lodged across the hall. Soon 
other refugees straggled in — George W. Deitzler, the man Robinson had 
sent East for arms, and George W. Brown, noisy Herald of Freedom 
editor. One day Reeder watched from his window as a mob under Milt 
McGee and Henry Clay Pate invaded the hotel and dragged out 
the man they believed to be George W. Brown. The fellow was saved 
from lynching only by identifying himself as a different and innocent 

The Eldridges realized that they could not shelter free-state men in- 
definitely, especially while the Missouri militiamen arrived daily to join 
the muster. George W. Brown and Gaius Jenkins both tried to escape but 
were captured. Milt McGee sent them to Lecompton as prisoners in charge 
of one of his slaves. The number of "traitors" imprisoned up there with 
Robinson was growing apace. Reeder, hoping to go East, still lurked in 
his hotel room. 

Back in Lawrence, excitement, despair, and confusion reigned as the 
proslavery militia marched to the Wakarusa, pitched tents, and built a 
blockhouse. All the free-state leaders were in jail, hiding or — like Lane — 
lecturing back East. Independent free-state scouts ventured out on the 
prairie to investigate the military preparations, and two of them were re- 
ported shot. There was no doubt about the seriousness of the crisis. In 
Leavenworth, James Redpath, eager always to precipitate a war over slav- 
ery, wrote the Chicago Tribune: "There will in all probability be a battle 
in a day or two between the men of the North and the minions of the 
Slave Power in Kansas." 

The forthcoming "battle" was watched by Eastern editors, as each new 
development came from the prairie reporters. Lecturers on Kansas drew 
crowded houses. "Senator" Lane, speaking in Indiana, was reported to 
be in imminent danger of arrest for treason. The excitement reached 
Washington, where congressmen sweltered in ninety degrees of 
humid heat. Waving palm-leaf fans, they speculated on possible candi- 


dates for President. The Democrats were convening in Cincinnati the 
following week to select nominees, and Pierce's failure on the Western 
border would be an important factor in their decision. Then, to augment 
the growing tension, Senator Sumner of Massachusetts announced that 
he intended to deliver some official remarks in the Senate on the crime 
against Kansas. 

On May 19, 1856, with the proslavery army encircling Lawrence, and 
delegates preparing to assemble for the Cincinnati convention, Sumner 
pushed back his upholstered chair in the Senate and rose to deliver his 
address. He wore a light sack coat and white pantaloons, suitable for the 
sultry weather. He glanced up at the packed galleries. Alongside the con- 
gressmen from the House who had come over to listen sat antislavery 
Joshua Giddings and proslavery Alexander H. Stephens. Old-line Demo- 
crat Frank Blair and Whig-machine boss Thurlow Weed, both now anti- 
slavery, were also interested spectators. 

Sumner haughtily surveyed the encircling senators. He tossed back his 
leonine locks from his shoulders and, in a restrained but rumbling voice, 
reviewed the administration's illegal actions in Kansas. He gave no cre- 
dence to the President's complaint about New England agitators. He re- 
counted how Senator Atchison had led voters from Missouri to Kansas 
in November 1854, and in March and October 1855, with bowie knives and 
banners flying. 

Senator Sumner described the Kickapoo Rangers' method of regulating 
elections. He referred to R. P. Brown, whose head had been hacked for 
resisting, and the dumping of his freezing body out of a wagon at his 
cabin door. Conscientious settlers, Sumner said, were exposed to per- 
petual assault by murderous robbers from Missouri, "hirelings, picked 
from the drunken spew and vomit of an uneasy civilization — in the form 
of men." 

Protests at such language echoed across the gallery. The president of the 
Senate pounded for order; Senator Douglas, writing busily at his seat, ap- 
peared not to hear. Sumner waited for silence. Then the lion in him roared 
again, this time at the senator from South Carolina, Andrew Pickens But- 
ler, who had advocated the forced disarmament of free-state men. Butler 
had lived in Washington with Atchison, Mason, and Hunter. Sumner 
snarled at him with biting sarcasm : 


The senator from South Carolina has read many books of chivalry, 
and believes himself a chivalrous knight, with sentiments of honor and 
courage. Of course he has chosen a mistress to whom he has made vows, 
and who, though ugly to others, is always lovely to him; though polluted 
in the sight of the world, is chaste in his sight. I mean the harlot slavery. 

Another protest sputtered across the gallery. Sumner flung his head 
back contemptuously and turned on the diligent Douglas. He ridiculed the 
Little Giant's objection to the Topeka Constitution, censured him for 
calling Lane a forger. Peace could be had, he said, by letting the majority 
rule in Kansas, not by forcing a government on them. 

Senator Douglas replied to Sumner with equal vindictiveness. Such lan- 
guage as Sumner used, he said, might "provoke some of us to kick him 
as we would a dog." 

Somebody was provoked to kick Sumner, truly enough. Representative 
Preston S. Brooks of South Carolina, a relative of Butler's, was known as 
an inoffensive man. He had spoken and voted for the Kansas-Nebraska 
bill and had contributed to Buford's emigrant aid plan, but he had sat 
aloof in the recent violent demonstrations in Congress. He had even intro- 
duced a resolution against carrying concealed weapons on the floor. Brooks 
was a large, handsome man, tall as Sumner, with black hair, bright eyes, 
and fashionably careless in dress. Rumbling with resentment, he skulked 
around the Capitol, waiting for a chance to horsewhip the Massachusetts 
senator. Two days after Sumner's speech, but before full news of the sack- 
ing of Lawrence had come, Brooks entered the Senate chamber after ad- 
journment and stepped to Sumner's desk, raised his gutta-percha cane, and 
flailed the senator's bowed head. Sumner tried to rise, found himself 
wedged under the desk, and soon fell bleeding and unconscious in the 
aisle — another example of Southern lawlessness to shock the North. 

Brooks winced under the storm of protest, the comparison of his bru- 
tality with Border Ruffianism. He resigned his seat but was immediately 
re-elected. Southerners sent him dozens of gold-headed canes, endorsing 
his viciousness and thus permitting the North to point with truth at the 
effect of slavery on Southern society. In a state of high excitement the 
Democratic delegates left for Cincinnati to nominate a new President. As 
they took their seats, details came to them about the sacking of Lawrence. 

The proslavery "army" had been ostensibly a posse under the direction 


of United States Marshal Donaldson and Sheriff Samuel Jones. Governor 
Shannon was conspicuously absent. As a representative of President Pierce 
on the eve of a convention in which he hoped to be renominated, Shannon 
wished to make no false step. The "army" encamped, as they had in De- 
cember 1855, along the Wakarusa, four miles from town. The Eldridge 
brothers, businessmen as well as politicians, feared the destruction of their 
expensive furnishings in the Emigrant Aid Company's hotel. They drove 
over to the enemy lines to tell the commanders that they would personally 
aid in serving any legal warrants which the officers might have, if their 
property were spared. Colonel Harry Titus, a new man who had been 
discussed in the Lawrence papers as a Florida pirate, announced em- 
phatically that the newspaper presses in town would have to be destroyed 
to satisfy the boys from South Carolina. Titus was a large, handsome man 
with a commanding presence and the clear skin common to one increas- 
ing in weight. A man of means, he affected the Missourians* homespun 
dress, loud talk, and knife flourishing. The Eldridges returned to town, 
fearing trouble. On Massachusetts Street, the crisis was discussed, and the 
frightened citizens, with no leader to advise them, decided to continue 
the old policy of nonresistance preached by their imprisoned "Governor" 

Early on the morning of May 21, 1856, the citizens of Lawrence saw 
horsemen in military array on Mount Oread. The rising sun shone on the 
grim barrels of cannon pointed toward the city. Red banners flapped in 
the wind against the green slope. Far to the south, companies could be 
seen marching along the California road, wheeling to the right, coming 
to reinforce the "soldiers" on the hill. Soon a few scouts walked into town, 
looked around for possible resistance. Reassured by the citizens, they 
walked out again. Then United States Deputy Marshal W. F. Fain rode 
down the street with a posse in shirt sleeves. He deputized six Lawrence 
citizens, among them the Eldridge brothers, to help make arrests. G. W. 
Smith, G. W. Deitzler and others were apprehended for treason, and the 
citizens made no protest. The Eldridges then invited the United States 
officers to dinner in the Free-State Hotel, and everything seemed to be 
progressing peaceably. 

At three o'clock in the afternoon Sheriff Jones clattered into town. He 
arrested Jacob Branson, who had evaded him since the Barber affair, and 


still there was no opposition. Then the sheriff ordered his men in line be- 
fore the Free-State Hotel, and called on Samuel C. Pomeroy, reputed agent 
of the Emigrant Aid Company, to surrender all arms and the village can- 
non. Pomeroy offered to wheel out the cannon but said the Sharps rifles 
were private property over which neither he nor the Emigrant Aid Com- 
pany had any jurisdiction. 

This was unsatisfactory, so the "army" marched into town with fixed 
bayonets. General William P. Richardson, of the territorial militia, was 
ostensibly in command. At the head of regiments and companies rode all 
the notorious Border Ruffians. With one of the first battalions came 
George W. Clarke, Indian agent and alleged murderer of Barber. With 
other units rode dignified A. G. Boone, the Westport merchant. Ex- 
Senator Atchison led the Platte County (Missouri) Rifles. Dr. J. H. 
Stringfellow, the editor, rode with the Kickapoo Rangers, apparently una- 
shamed of Brown's murder. Then came Henry Clay Pate, editor of the 
Border Star, with colors presented his company by the females of West- 
port. Dark, handsome, and romantic filibuster Titus rode with Buford's 
men. Ladies adored his complexion, but on horseback his increasing girth 
showed disadvantageously. Friends wished him luck with the grandiose 
saloon and gambling establishment he planned for Kansas City. 

A galaxy of unknown Southerners brought up the rear. Over the column 
floated Buford's flags — the state banners of South Carolina and Alabama, 
the others inscribed southern rights, supremacy of the white race and 
Kansas the outpost. One was striped black and white. Another had a tiger 
in place of the Union. 

The army advanced with military caution, halting every three hundred 
yards to support a battery of artillery which unlimbered for action while 
others advanced. At the Free-State Hotel all guns were trained on the 
hostelry and the army halted. The Eldridges repeated their pleas to save 
their property. Sheriff Jones gruffly drew out his watch and allowed them 
until 5 p.m. — two hours — to remove their furnishings. 

Waiting, watch in hand, the officers assigned two companies to destroy 
the Herald of Freedom and Kansas Free State presses. A three-hundred- 
volume library fluttered out the windows. Type was shoveled into wagons 
and hauled to the river. Newspaper files were tossed into the Kansas wind. 
The free-state cannon were surrendered, as Pomeroy had promised. Then 


the invaders formed in a hollow square before the hotel. David Rice Atchi- 
son mounted one of the surrendered guns and harangued the men with 
senatorial gusto. 

The text of Atchison's speech is controversial. The incendiary free-state 
reporters quoted him as saying : "Boys, this day I am a Kickapoo Ranger, 
by God! This day we have entered Lawrence with 'Southern Rights' in- 
scribed upon our banner. ... If one man or woman dare stand before 
you, blow them [sic] to hell with a chunk of cold lead." Atchison's de- 
fenders maintain that he spoke conciliatorily, hoping to restrain the men 
from undue violence. Perhaps, but it is difficult to justify his being on the 
ground at all. Furthermore, he seems to have knelt unsteadily beside the 
cannon and aimed it at the hotel — a three-story structure eighty feet 
wide — and ordered "Fire." The ball whistled over the entire building and 
thumped into a distant hill where women had congregated for safety. 
This marksmanship from the old sportsman led many to conclude that 
the former president of the United States Senate had indulged too freely 
from the hotel cellar. Perhaps his unsteadiness was only fatigue, for at 
forty-nine years of age Atchison was unable to stand the long rides he had 
when younger, but the Boston Evening Telegraph announced maliciously 
that, in Missouri, Atchison was known as "Staggering Davy." 

Later shots pounded the building but were unable to wreck the con- 
crete walls. Finally, two kegs of powder were rolled in the doorway. A 
slow match of lard and powder was laid out to a safe distance and ignited. 
The flame sputtered toward the building, disappeared inside, and a few 
moments later great clouds of smoke belched from the windows. But still 
the walls stood firm. Finally, stock paper from the newspaper offices was 
brought and set on fire, thus gutting the hotel. 

As flames licked out the window, Sheriff Jones stood up in his stirrups 
before his men and shouted less fluently than Atchison : "Gentlemen, this 
is the happiest day of my life. I determined to make the fanatics bow be- 
fore me in the dust and kiss the territorial laws. I have done it, by G-d. 
You are now dismissed." 

General looting began at once. The men, completely out of hand, raided 
the stores and caroused along the wooden sidewalks with satin vests but- 
toned over red flannel shirts, silk curtain cords holding up butternut pan- 
taloons. Bags of canned goods were tied to saddles for the long trip home. 


Somebody found and looted Ex-Governor Reeder's trunk. According to 
gossip, Dr. Stringfellow, presiding officer of the legislature, walked into 
Paul R. Brooks's store and took two boxes of cigars, saying: "Well, boys, 
I guess this is all the booty I want." 

After dark, the invaders rode away, some to their homes in Lecompton, 
others to encampments around Mount Oread. Next morning "General" 
Atchison sent a messenger into Lawrence for permission to march his men 
down Massachusetts Street to the ferry, where he hoped to cross the Kaw 
and thus go home by the shortest route. No objections were raised, and 
the townsmen watched from windows and sidewalks as the "army" passed, 
solemnly as a funeral procession, cannon rumbling ahead and in the rear. 
Atchison, on his big horse, seemed to be dejected. Was he suffering from 
"the morning after," or did his bowed head indicate remorse over opening 
the armed conflict between slavery and freedom — not only opening it, 
but missing the first shot! 


I Went to Take Old Brown 
and Old Brown Took Me 

Ihe sacking of Lawrence frightened property owners in Kansas City. 
Townsmen warned the Eldridges to sell the interest they had acquired in 
the American Hotel there, lest it be destroyed and thus give the com- 
munity a bad name. The brothers realized that they could not keep Ex- 
Governor Reeder hidden any longer. They asked Kersey Coates, the suc- 
cessful Pennsylvanian, to arrange with a steamship captain to stop for a 
passenger at a wharf six miles below town. Then a suit of workman's 
clothes was purchased for Reeder. The ex-governor shaved off his dis- 
tinctive side whiskers. Mr. and Mrs. Edward Eldridge took his heavy va- 
lise between them, walked out the front door, and crossed the levee to a 
waiting skiff. The disguised ex-governor came down the stairs later, clay 
pipe in mouth, ax in hand. In the street a mob was gathering to hear a 
speaker blast the abolitionists. Reeder listened for a few minutes, then 
picked up his ax and walked to the skiff where his valise was waiting. The 
oarsman shoved off and the ex-governor escaped. 

Details of the capture of Robinson, the escape of Reeder, and the sack of 
Lawrence were on everybody's lips as a convention of the leading politi- 
cians in Illinois assembled on May 29, 1856, to organize the Republican 
Party in Illinois and work with the national organization. Surely the time 
was ripe for a new organization to fight established tyranny. Abraham 
Lincoln, Whig leader in the state, had been loath to leave his party. Yet 
he had shown interest in this convention from the first. Bloomington was 
selected for the meeting — a suitable place, centrally located and reasonably 
close to Chicago. The town was antislavery in sympathy, had organized 


emigrant parties for Kansas, and was accustomed to abolition meetings, 
but this one would be unusual, for two much-publicized Kansas refugees 
were to speak. 

At the appointed time, Andrew H. Reeder stepped out on a balcony 
and told the multitude about disguising himself in order to escape. His 
hair still showed the dye. Indoors, Mrs. Charles Robinson spoke with 
sweet determination in her eyes and a shawl over the broad lace collar 
on her sloping shoulders. At the opportune time, Lincoln stood up and 
delivered the speech that would go down in history as his greatest — his 
"lost speech," which so moved reporters that they threw down their 
pencils and took no notes. Surely, Reeder and Mrs. Robinson had found 
a sympathetic advocate. 

The Democratic national convention in Cincinnati followed almost im- 
mediately. Delegates came with full realization of the dangerous growth 
of the Republican Party — especially the addition of the powerful state of 
Illinois. President Pierce's supporters still blamed Kansas disturbances on 
Northern agitators and fanatic pressmen — writers who incited settlers 
to resist the laws. The Lawrence raid, with its property damage, was dis- 
missed by them as mostly propaganda. But before the convention was 
called to order, telegrams told of a horrible massacre of proslavery settlers 
on Pottawatomie Creek — no propaganda this time. 

The outrage had started at Palmyra, where John Brown, Jr., was en- 
camped with two companies of riflemen coming to the relief of Lawrence. 
On the morning of May 22, 1856, the riflemen had learned that they were 
too late. Lawrence had been sacked and the Free-State Hotel burned. The 
men rested all day in the shade of their wagons discussing the raid. As they 
talked, H. H. Williams rode into camp reporting that proslavery men were 
evicting free-state settlers at Osawatomie or Dutch Henry's Crossing of 
the Pottawatomie. Old John Brown — tall, spare, dressed in soiled clothes 
and a tattered straw hat — called his boys together and talked to them 
earnestly. He had wanted to fight the proslavery Missourians when they 
surrounded Lawrence last winter, but had been stopped. Now his people's 
homes on the Pottawatomie were threatened by the miscreants. Time had 
come for revenge. 

Brown's boys and a few others began sharpening their cutlasses on a 
grindstone. Early on the afternoon of May 23, Old Brown, four sons, a 


son-in-law, and two others started in a wagon for Dutch Henry's Cross- 
ing, amid cheers from the two companies. Down the road they passed a 
traveler, James Blood, whom Brown had met in the Wakarusa War. The 
grim old man talked with him a few minutes and on leaving said, "We 
are on a secret mission — don't speak of meeting us." 

Two days later, excited riders brought word that five proslavery men 
had been called out of their cabins during the night and killed with cut- 
lasses. Three of the deceased were a father and two minor sons. The 
fourth was a bullying member of the proslavery legislature, the fifth a 
settler notorious for frightening free-state homesteaders. Of the five, only 
one could read or write. Unconfirmed gossip excused the murders on the 
ground that one of the dead men had raped a free-state settler's daughter — 
political propaganda of the worst kind, no doubt. 

No matter how vicious the free-soil settlers might be, President Pierce 
was destined to suffer for the inability of his administration to maintain 
order. Resentment against him grew as the delegates caucused in Cin- 
cinnati. Surely a new man must be selected to win — especially since these 
upstart Republicans had added the great and growing state of Illinois to 
their organization, and planned to hold their first national convention on 
June 17, 1856. 

The Democratic convention was called to order on June 2. Ghastly de- 
tails of the Pottawatomie massacre had arrived now. The assassins had 
hidden all day in the woods near Dutch Henry's Crossing to select the 
settlers to be killed. Agreeing finally on a roster, the men set off late at 
night, cutlasses swinging from their belts. At the home of the first victim 
they knocked. No response! All was silent, but the men thought they 
heard a rifle cocked, so decided to move on. At the next three cabins they 
were more successful. Doomed men were called out by name, led a short 
way down the road and sabered to death — a quiet method of slaughter. 
One was shot in the face, powder smoke burning his skin. An innocent 
traveler taken from Dutch Henry's cabin was spared, but found dead some 
days later, probably assassinated to shut his mouth in case of a trial. The 
murderers rode away on the dead men's horses. 

After the night's work, Brown asked the Lord's blessing at breakfast — 
as was his custom — raising to heaven gnarled hands stained with the 
dried blood of his victims. Intelligent free-state men shuddered over the 


possible consequence of his fanaticism, at the same time admitting that 
the old zealot would have been at home in the Old Testament armies of 
Israel which put to the sword the cities of Canaan. 

Henry Clay Pate's Westport Sharpshooters were breaking camp at 
Franklin when word of the Pottawatomie massacre was received. Here 
was an opportunity for patriotic service. Pate announced grandly, for pub- 
lication, that he would capture the old rascal. His men struck their tents, 
loaded their wagons, and the company started south. Along the way they 
"requisitioned" supplies, as needed, from pioneer stores. At Prairie City 
six foragers, intent on fun and groceries, rushed the handful of cabins. 
One had blacked his face; another wore chicken feathers in his hat. All 
had forgotten that the day was Sunday. They did not notice the large 
number of horses and buggies hitched along the fence until it was too late. 
Divine services were being held in one of the cabins, and the congregation 
stormed out the doors and windows, waving guns. The raiders with the 
blackened face and chicken-feather headpiece were captured. The rest 
dashed away to safety. 

Old Brown learned that Pate's posse was coming. Volunteers came 
quickly to reinforce his handful, and he mustered twenty-eight men — 
among them the Viennese August Bondi, another of those foreigners who 
would fight and die if need be for the Declaration of Independence. With 
these, John Brown went to meet Pate, and found him encamped, with his 
wagons, near the Santa Fe road, three quarters of a mile from the village 
of Black Jack. A timbered gulch crossed the prairie behind the camp. 
Brown distributed his men in the brush and on June 2 — day of the Demo- 
cratic convention — opened fire. The bombardment lasted two or three 
hours, then Pate sent over a flag of truce. The bearer stated that Pate was 
a United States deputy in search of persons for whom writs had been 
issued. Brown insisted that the "deputy" surrender unconditionally. 

Pate asked for fifteen minutes to consider. Brown refused. The click of 
cocking rifles rippled along the edge of the gulch. Pate handed over his 
sword, surrendering twenty-three men — among them a brother of Milt 
McGee's. Brown moved them, their horses, and wagons, to his own camp 
at Middle Creek. "I had no alternative but to submit or to run and be 
shot," Pate reported to the Missouri Republican. "I went to take Old 
Brown, and Old Brown took me." 


The capture of Pate caused wide publicity, and vengeful Missourians 
rallied at Westport and Independence. At Lexington, wealthy young Jo 
Shelby, who had just returned from Lawrence, wheeled his troop and 
started back. Other companies mustered in Jackson, Johnson, Clay, Platte, 
Ray, Saline, and Carrol counties. 

To defend Brown, the Lawrence Stubbs shouldered arms and swung 
down the road to Black Jack. On other roads came the Bloomington 
Rifles, the Blue Mound Infantry, Wakarusa Boys, the Prairie City Com- 
pany — about a hundred and fifteen men in all. 

Governor Shannon was desperate. He knew the Democratic convention 
was in session in Cincinnati and that he, as well as Pierce, would be 
blamed for all the turmoil. On June 4 he issued a proclamation ordering 
all armed and illegal organizations to disperse, then cautioned Colonel 
Sumner to see that it was obeyed. With two companies of regulars the 
colonel approached the woods where Brown's men were bivouacked. The 
Bull of the Woods was engaged, at last, in the police work he detested. A 
messenger from Brown met him in the dusty road with a request for a 

"Tell him I make no terms with lawless men," Sumner replied. There 
was no question in his mind about his military duty. Then Old Brown 
himself stepped into the road and beckoned the soldiers back through the 
brush to his camp. The prisoners were called out and told that they were 
free. Henry Clay Pate bounded up on a log and began to speak. 

"I don't want to hear a word from you, sir," Sumner snapped. "You 
have no business here. The governor told me so." The colonel then ordered 
both prisoners and captors to disperse and go home. Brown's party pro- 
tested. They explained that several hundred men were marching in from 
Missouri to kill them all, in fact were only two miles away. 

Colonel Sumner was not one to leave the men helpless. He sent, at 
once, for reinforcements for his own troops, then rode to the invaders' 
lines, ordering them all to go home. Captain Jo Shelby, still glorying in 
military activity, reported that Sumner had come with twenty-five hun- 
dred men from Leavenworth and "drove me clear out of the territory" — 
the beginning of a hatred of the Federal Army that would lead to ex- 
citing days. 

Neither the free-state nor the Missouri army had supplies, and they re- 


turned home, plundering along the way. Everyone learned how easy it 
was to live by looting. Brown, with his men, continued to skulk in the 

Before Pate's capture and release were known in the East, the Demo- 
cratic convention adjourned in Cincinnati. Franklin Pierce had been re- 
pudiated and James Buchanan chosen for the nominee. He was a lifelong 
Democrat and a Northerner, "sensible about slavery." Moreover, he had 
been absent from the country during the recent quarrels over Kansas 
within the party. Thus, he cherished no old grudges and should attract 
conservative votes, North and South. 

President Pierce, with seven months yet to serve, held doggedly to his 
own policy, wiring Shannon to "maintain the laws firmly and impar- 
tially." However, the Atchison-Stringfellow faction, having been ap- 
peased constantly by the administration, planted cannon along the Mis- 
souri River to stop steamboats. "Colonel" Buford assigned his followers 
on border patrols. Mobs of "law and order men" boarded incoming vessels 
when they docked at Lexington, Kansas City, and Leavenworth, ques- 
tioning passengers about their politics and taking weapons from free- 
state men. Confiscated goods were stored in the giant warehouses of Rus- 
sell and Majors, overland freighters whose annual profits were just 
beginning to enter the $300,000 bracket. David Rice Atchison moved across 
the river to camp with the Kickapoo Rangers, to laugh, drink, and caper 
among their tents. People said that the great man might change his resi- 
dence permanently and re-enter politics in Kansas. 

Governor Shannon watched this growing aggression with mounting 
disapproval. His party and his President had sanctioned the proslavery 
government, yet apologized for the sack of Lawrence. He knew that Pierce 
wanted the Lecompton government to succeed harmoniously if possible, 
by force if necessary. Regardless of the popular will, the Topeka legisla- 
ture, scheduled to meet July 4, 1856, must not convene. Governor Shannon 
ordered Colonel Sumner to be at Topeka and stop the meeting. Then he 
boarded a steamboat for St. Louis to be out of the territory at the time. 

News had already come West concerning the Republican national 
convention, which assembled in Philadelphia on June 17. Kansas had been 
the main topic of conversation, and the Democratic failure promised to be 
the big issue of the coming campaign. John Sherman attended, fresh from 


his congressional investigation duties. So did Shalor Eldridge, with details 
about the destruction of the Free-State Hotel. Martin Conway, the slim, 
red-headed boy-orator with South Carolina accent, who had resigned from 
the "bogus" legislature, nominated John C. Fremont for President after 
an impassioned oration. The Pathfinder's name promised popular appeal. 
As son-in-law of Thomas Hart Benton, who was the old enemy of David 
Rice Atchison, Fremont should attract free-state Democrats. "Governor" 
Robinson had endorsed the choice from jail, recalling their California ex- 
periences. Abraham Lincoln had been suggested for the vice-presidency 
but was defeated by William L. Dayton of New Jersey. 

The lists were thus prepared for the contest between the old established 
Democrats and the new Republicans, with all eyes looking sideways at 
Kansas. Could things be straightened out there before the November elec- 
tions? Governor Shannon, as has been said, thought it better to be out of 
the territory when the Topeka legislature convened. Colonel Sumner, 
obeying orders, marched five companies of dragoons and two pieces of 
artillery to the edge of town on July 3. He camped in the weeds a short 
distance off the road. With him came proslavery Lieutenant Governor 
Woodson, elderly and easygoing Marshal Israel B. Donaldson, and young 
Jeb Stuart, with his trick horse and a contempt for free-state mudsills. The 
soldiers learned that two companies of free-state men had been drilling 
with fife and drum in town — not for resistance, but merely for a proposed 
Fourth of July celebration, citizens assured them. Genial old Donaldson 
fanned himself with his ragged straw hat. He knew that these pacific 
declarations from free-staters had been deceiving. 

On the morning of the Fourth, Topeka was crowded with men, women, 
and children — families of the legislators and curious onlookers. Old 
Brown was reported to have a small band of riflemen in the nearby sun- 

Members of the Senate and House sauntered into the building proudly 
named Constitution Hall. With squealing fifes the companies marched up 
and down the dirt streets, halting to ground arms, rest, then shoulder and 
march again. A tall, limber man of forty-five or fifty walked in from the 
army camp, coat off and vest open in the heat. His jeans flapped about 
dusty boots. His iron-gray whiskers were topped by a very dirty straw hat. 


"That's Marshal Donaldson," people said. James Redpath's dispatch to the 
Chicago Tribune reported him to have "imbecile looking eyes." 

Donaldson walked up the steps to Constitution Hall and down the 
aisle, where the solons congregated slowly. He handed a paper to the pre- 
siding officer stating that it was a proclamation from the President of the 
United States and from the governor of Kansas ordering them not to con- 
vene. The dignitary called the members present to order. Someone moved 
that the proclamation be read. This was done and complete silence fol- 
lowed, except for the thud of Donaldson's boots as he strode back up the 
aisle. Out in the brilliant sunshine again, he put on his battered straw hat 
and walked down the road to Sumner's tent. "There will be a fight," he 

Colonel Sumner waited until almost noon. Then he ordered his men to 
mount and they rode to town. The free-state battalion stood in martial ar- 
ray before Constitution Hall, receiving banners from the ladies inscribed, 
our lives for our rights. Colonel Sumner halted and watched grimly 
from his saddle. No observer reported him as removing his upper teeth, 
so an attack was not imminent. The citizens concluded the ceremony un- 
disturbed. The free-state companies marched away, and the dragoons oc- 
cupied the town square. Cannon were unlimbered. Sumner ordered slow 
matches lighted. Then he swung from his horse and walked stiffly — he 
was fifty-nine — into the hall, sword sheathed at his side. In the House 
chamber a clerk was calling the roll as he entered. Sumner walked to the 
desk and waited until the clerk finished and announced "no quorum." 

Colonel Sumner was stumped. How does the military disperse a govern- 
ment that does not meet? He waited as the roll was called again. Only 
seventeen answered — still no quorum. The speaker ordered the sergeant 
at arms to go out in the heat and bring members known to be in town. 
Sumner waited no longer. He announced that he had been assigned the 
unpleasant duty of disbanding the legislature. "God knows I have no party 
feeling in the matter, and will have none so long as I hold my present 
position in Kansas." 

The solons rose dutifully and walked from the room. Colonel Sumner 
then went to the Senate chamber, found them not in session, and told 
those present not to convene. Then he turned and left the building, well 


aware that he had made history in what might be a big way. As Sumner 
walked down the steps, William Phillips, correspondent for the New Yor{ 
Herald, said to him, with Scotch brogue, "Colonel, you have robbed Oliver 
Cromwell of his laurels." 

Sumner walked slowly to his horse, mounted, and led his battalion out 
of town. People hurrahed the solemn man who had done an unpleasant 
duty. Someone diverted the shouting to "Three cheers for Fremont" and 
"Three groans for Pierce." The crowd responded, free-state Democrats 
shouting — without realizing it — for the new Republican Party. And 
this was exactly what was happening all through Kansas. 

Both President Pierce and Secretary of War Jefferson Davis denied or- 
dering the dispersal of the Topeka legislature. They had only sanctioned 
use of the army to disperse persons combining for insurrection, they main- 
tained. However, Colonel Sumner was soon replaced — a graceful disci- 
plinary gesture — but his command was given to Pulsifer F. Smith, a 
Pennsylvanian with known Southern sympathies. True, he was a virtual 
invalid, so dashing Jeb Stuart and other hotbloods were sure to put free- 
state settlers in their place. 

At last everything had gone in favor of the slave power. The free-state 
leaders were all imprisoned or driven from the territory ; the ports of entry 
were all blockaded, and the Topeka government had been officially dis- 
persed However, two things remained to be reckoned with: In the com- 
ing election the entire nation would vote on the Kansas issue, and that 
man Jim Lane was back East talking as he had never talked before. 

V I 

Lane's Army of the North 

J ames henry lane strode up and down Chicago's wooden sidewalks with 
a scowl on his rugged face. A great problem weighed down his eloquent 
mind. He was as slow as Lincoln had been to renounce his party alle- 
giance and join the Republicans. Scheduled to speak at the Bloomington 
convention, along with Ex-Governor Reeder and Mrs. Robinson, Lane 
had not attended, but he had now heard all about the impassioned meet- 
ing and Lincoln's "lost speech." He decided to address a Chicago rally 
with his best oratory. 

The Metropolitan Hall failed to hold the crowd, so Lane and his ac- 
companying orators moved to the north steps of the courthouse. The multi- 
tude below them was excited about reports of Missouri cannon turning 
back fellow Chicagoans bound for Kansas. Was a corrupt administration 
to be allowed to usurp the public domain without opposition, or should 
Chicago send gunboats to open the Missouri River? Lane was allegedly 
a fugitive charged with treason in this political imbroglio. Surely he was 
a man worth hearing. 

The Grim Chieftain began calmly enough by eulogizing the new terri- 
tory, by describing the opportunities for settlers there. His platform mag- 
netism electrified the throng. Kansas, he said, was not the home of de- 
spised "Massachusetts Yankees" as so many Missourians claimed. Instead 
it had been settled by Midwesterners, like themselves, shackled out there 
now under the tyranny of slavocrats. Nine tenths of the Kansas home- 
steaders, he said, came from Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio. 

Lane could control an audience's every emotion. Like a musical direc- 
tor with an orchestra, he could draw out laughter, scorn, anger, tears, wild 
enthusiasm. Remembering now that he was talking to Illinoisans, he 


lauded his own patriotic record in the Mexican War. He told how, at 
Buena Vista, he had sat on his horse beside the great and lamented Illinois 
General J. J. Hardin, and the present candidate for governor of the state, 
William H. Bissell — a former Democrat nominated at the recent Bloom- 
ington convention. That, indeed, was a glorious day, Lane said, and "It 
did not occur to me [then] that I should be indicted for treason because I 
loved liberty better than slavery." 

Lane paused, let his words sink into the minds of his audience. Then 
he held up a copy of the Kansas statutes, ruffled the printed sheets, identi- 
fied them carefully so there would be no mistake, opened the leaves at the 
recently enacted fugitive code. Carefully he read the penalty for helping 
a slave to escape from its master, then snapped the pages together with 
dramatic finality and summarized the act: 

If a person kidnaps a white child the utmost penalty is six months in 
jail — if a "nigger" baby, the penalty is death. ... To kidnap a white 
child into slavery, six months in jail — to kidnap a "nigger" into freedom, 

This law, Lane reminded the people, was chargeable to the present 
incumbent of the White House. The violent deaths of the men who had 
protested it were all chargeable to the Democratic President. Unpleasant 
as it was to admit, Lane confessed that he, as presidential elector in In- 
diana, had cast his ballot for the author of these outrages. Thus, Frank 
Pierce was a creature of his own hands, but now — Lane paused and a 
hush fell across the people packed in the street — "Now," Lane screamed 
with a wild gesture of his arms, "before God, and his people, I arraign 
Frank Pierce as a murderer." 

More than once Lane had stood before a mob keen for his death and, 
within half an hour, had instilled into them a frenzy to do his bidding, 
but never had he thrilled an audience like this one. At midnight he asked 
contributions for establishing freedom in Kansas. The audience surged 
forward. Workmen emptied their pockets; sailors tossed in their cash, 
widows their mites, boys their savings. People without money offered to 
march in Lane's army of supporters and make Kansas free. With empty 
pockets and brimming hearts they stormed away through the streets of 
Chicago, singing the "Star-Spangled Banner" and the "Marseillaise" — 


time indeed for revolution against a government that thwarted the peo- 
ple's will with cannon. The editor o£ the Chicago Tribune, Dr. Charles 
Ray, who had recently joined the staff to fight slavery, prophesied that the 
meeting would inaugurate a new era in history. 

Lane continued his lecture tour, traveling East, where he set commu- 
nity after community aflame with his eloquence. A dozen other orators 
did likewise, distributing pamphlet abstracts from the slave code, ex- 
tolling the virtues of Fremont, and urging emigrants to travel by a north- 
ern route to the territory. Various state "Kansas societies" had combined 
into a National Kansas Committee, and $200,000 had been raised to help 
defray emigrants' overland expenses. Massachusetts alone offered $80,000 
and sent supplies. A company of "Rifle Christians" left New Haven, Con- 
necticut, armed with Sharps as well as Bibles. One cheering contingent 
left Milwaukee. Chicago became the usual outfitting place whence parties 
left by train, their covered wagons on flatcars to be unloaded at Iowa rail- 
heads for the final leg of the journey. 

Emigrants, careful to make no political declarations, could still go by 
the usual routes and slip through the Missouri blockade, but Lane's Army 
of the North had become a part of the presidential campaign — a march- 
ing symbol of Free Soil, Free Men, and Fremont, an army of protest 
against encroaching slave-power dictatorship. The final test had come. 
So far, the North had contributed the most money and the most settlers. 
Now it was also prepared to meet Southern violence with the most vio- 
lence. And if, by chance, the proslavery border boys desired to match 
their horse-stealing skill with the Eastern immigrants', this challenge 
would be accepted, too. 

Lane had no official command over the National Kansas Committee's 
parties, but he rode along with them. Eastern newspapers reported his 
progress. On July 1, 1856, the New Yor\ Weekly Times reported him to 
be at Council Bluffs with a thousand belligerent buffalo hunters, all eager 
to "make tyrants tremble." A letter from Indianola, Iowa, reported him 
passing through the country with a hundred and fifty men, stopping to 
make speeches at every hamlet and wagon camp. With no authority Lane 
issued high-sounding military commissions and marked the prairie with 
cairns — Lane's chimneys — to guide later parties. The National Kansas 
Committee wondered at this authority, sent out investigators to inquire 


about Lane's reputation in Kansas. They learned that he represented the 
lawless element and that the United States Army was waiting at the state 
line to stop him and all armed parties. The committee asked Lane to 
leave the train, lest the entire emigration be discredited. 

Down in Kansas the free-state settlers also learned about the United 
States Army's vigilance on the border. Hotheads talked about marching 
out to strike the army in the rear and thus open the way for Lane's Army 
of the North. Others, preferring the old nonresistance procedure, sent a 
letter to Lane urging him not to stir up violence by bringing in an armed 
force. Samuel Walker was selected to carry the message and he rode off 
on imprisoned "Governor" Robinson's horse at the head of a small party. 
If anyone had influence over Lane it was Walker — a Midwesterner, like 
Lane, and an abolitionist, like Robinson. Walker was a small man, slightly 
crippled for life with "hip-disease." He had come to Kansas with the 
spring breakup in 1855. In a sleet storm his nine-year-old daughter had 
jumped from his wagon, slipped, and been run over, breaking her leg in 
two places. A proslavery Baptist preacher had refused to let her be carried 
into his house. Henceforth, Walker's hatred of slavery became fanatic. 
Like others, he pre-empted a claim which conflicted with a proslav- 
ery settler's. Gangs had stopped more than once at his cabin to beat or 
threaten to kill him unless he moved. To hide his identity Walker trained 
his children to treat him like a stranger when travelers stopped at the 

In addition to human enemies Walker was plagued by hunger during 
his first winter in Kansas. Desperate for food, he went to Lane's cabin in 
Lawrence, begging work. Lane had neither, work, money, nor supplies, 
but he gave Walker an order for eleven dollars. With this, and soup made 
from wild peas and native herbs, the cripple's family survived. It was be- 
side the point that Lane never paid the eleven dollars. Mere money meant 
nothing to him. More than once he drew cash himself from a merchant, 
stating that he had funds on deposit in an Eastern bank. Weeks later, 
when the merchant showed Lane the order, returned with the notation 
"Depositor Unknown," the Grim Chieftain replied casually that there 
must be some mistake and turned away, intent on more important mat- 

Walker felt great loyalty for Lane and had "enlisted" under him to help 


repel raiding Missourians. Certainly Lane would heed his request not to 
bring in an invading army. 

On the ride north, Walker overtook Old John Brown, trekking across 
the prairie with a little party of his own, eager to meet the Army of the 
North and lead it back to victory or death. The two parties rode on to- 
gether. They found Lane near Nebraska City in Dr. Blanchard's house, 
grim, disconsolate, almost in tears. He had just been requested by the Na- 
tional Kansas Committee to leave the "army." Walker handed him the 
letter from the free-state conservatives, watched him read and then sit 
with bowed head, tears glistening on his beard. Finally, Lane looked up 
and said, "Walker, if you say the people of Kansas don't want me, it's all 
right, and I'll blow my brains out. I can never go back to the states and 
look the people in the face and tell them that as soon as I had got these 
Kansas friends of mine fairly into danger I had to abandon them. I can't 
do it. No matter what I say in my defense no one will believe it. I'll blow 
my brains out and end the thing right here." 

Walker had come north to stop the invasion, not to see his hero commit 

"General," Walker told him, "the people of Kansas would rather have 
you than all the party at Nebraska City. I have fifteen good boys that are 
my own. If you will put yourself under my orders, I'll take you through 
all right." Lane's eyes brightened. Dr. Blanchard disguised him for the 
ride, and Mrs. Blanchard brought some old clothes. Silver nitrate was 
sponged on Lane's grizzly beard to blacken it — all to no effect. Lane 
looked more like himself in the old clothes than he did in the new ones 
he had worn on Eastern lecture platforms. After dark they set ofr" — 
Walker, his men, and Old Brown's party — some thirty in all. The Grim 
Chieftain had not been deterred even by Sam Walker! Instead, Walker, 
who had gone to stop him, became his stanchest supporter. 

Recent rains had flooded the prairie streams and a constant downpour 
drenched the riders, but they splashed along until dawn, then stopped to 
graze the horses. The men lay down in their wet clothes to sleep, but 
Lane soon roused them, restless to be on his way. "Captain" Walker got 
up at once and. limped around, poking the drowsy figures. He found Old 
Brown dozing with his back against a tree, a gun across his knees. Walker 
twitched the old man's arm. Brown leaped to his feet and fired, burning 


a hole in Walker's coat. The "captain" never forgot that lesson and said 
later, "Old Brown always seemed most wakeful when he was asleep." 

Spurring across the sodden prairies, the men covered a hundred and 
fifty miles in thirty hours, but horses and riders continually dropped be- 
hind exhausted. Only six remained when the party reached the Kaw River 
ferry late on the second night. The boat was on the south bank and the 
ferryman had gone to Topeka. The men whipped their mounts into the 
stream. Walker's horse alone had the strength to cross. Lane and Charlie 
Stratton abandoned their horses, swam to the south shore, and strode, 
dripping, into the darkened town. The three men got a bite to eat — the 
first since leaving Nebraska City. Lane wrote a dramatic note announcing 
his triumphal arrival with the Army of the North and offered to release 
the treason prisoners at Lecompton by attacking Federal troops if neces- 
sary. Then, on fresh horses, the three set off in the midnight rain for 
Lawrence, passing south of the proslavery capital. Walker, almost ex- 
hausted, fell from his horse three times in twenty miles. Fatigue aggra- 
vated the old "hip-disease." At his cabin, only seven miles from Law- 
rence, he gave up. Lane left him with instructions to raise his minutemen 
and await orders. Two miles beyond, Stratton quit, and Lane rode into 
Lawrence alone at 3 a.m. By 8 o'clock in the morning of August 11, 1856, 
he was on the streets talking as casually as though he had never been 

Excited people told Lane that Lawrence was blockaded. The proslavery 
men had established three forts — Franklin, Saunders, and Titus — and 
were stopping all supply wagons on the roads. The town would be 
starved out. A week ago a little party had crept out to Franklin and fired 
all night at the fortifications — a blockhouse with the hotel in one wing 
and the post office in the other. The free-staters had killed one man and 
wounded others but, at dawn, came back discouraged. A party was out 
there now preparing another attack. Lane did not wait for more details 
but rode off through the hot, damp sunflowers toward the hamlet. 

The new attack lasted three hours, and Lane's participation is apoc- 
ryphal — depending on the politics of the witnesses reporting. One thing 
is sure: the siege was successful, being terminated by a load of burning 
hay wheeled toward the buildings. The approaching flames dispersed the 
defenders, and the postmaster's wife surrendered an empty structure. 


The victors came back to Lawrence in high spirits, trundling a cannon 
they called Old Sacramento, one of the battery which Doniphan's men had 
hauled for a thousand miles across the Mexican deserts. Lane made much 
of the gun's capture and of the surrender of Fort Franklin as the first 
victory of his Army of the North, although no man who crossed with 
him was present. Nevertheless, the retreating enemy believed him and 
spread the word that Lane had come with his indomitable horde. 

The next proslavery stronghold of importance was Fort Saunders on 
Washington Creek, southwest of Lawrence — a building twenty-five feet 
square and two stories high, with rows of loopholes on both levels. A hun- 
dred men in this blockhouse might stand ofT a thousand. The victors of 
Franklin — Lane surely among them now — marched out to investigate 
this citadel. "Major" David S. Hoyt, of the free-state forces, volunteered to 
go ahead and learn the number of defenders. Perhaps the fort was invul- 
nerable. Friends tried to dissuade Hoyt from such a fool's errand, but he 
persisted, reminding them that he was a Mason. Brothers of the order in 
the enemy camp would protect him from harm. Hoyt's corpse was picked 
up outside the fort — two balls through his body and one, a coup de 
grace, through his head. Tracks in the dirt road showed that he had left 
the fort with an escort who shot him and took his horse. 

This news came to Lawrence as a company of Illinois emigrants under 
"Colonel" Harvey marched into town — the first of Lane's Army of the 
North. Harvey had succeeded as a saloonkeeper in Chicago, now owned 
considerable property, and craved action in Kansas. United States soldiers 
had not found the guns his men concealed under sacks of seed in their 
wagons and had let the alley cats pass. On arrival in Lawrence, Colonel 
Harvey learned that the free-state settlers were congregating out on the 
prairie to get revenge for the death of Hoyt. He ordered his men to stop 
unpacking and join them at once. 

Down the dirt road, Harvey found the motley crew. Old Brown was 
there with his hearty boys. Walker had his minutemen, horse and foot. 
Harvey looked them all over and urged an immediate attack. Lane ob- 
jected — better display Hoyt's body, call for more recruits, and indulge 
in proper oratory. Thus, with much speaking, some five hundred men as- 
sembled. Then, Lane ordered each volunteer to prepare a straw man, thus 
doubling the apparent size of his "army." Men, with the dummies, climbed 


into wagons, and all drove toward Fort Saunders with much fanfare, Lane 
sending word ahead to the defenders that he was coming with the Army 
of the North. 

The defenders of Fort Saunders counted the heads in the long line of 
wagons. Estimating the enemy as twelve hundred strong, they fled, leav- 
ing forty guns, three kegs of powder, and Hoyt's horse. Lane took full 
credit for the victory, ordered a parade, and refreshed the troops with 
another speech. Then he formally turned the command to "Captain" 
Walker, wheeled his horse and galloped away with half a dozen followers. 
When he was next heard from, he was back in Nebraska. 

Dumfounded, Walker ordered the brigade disbanded. Various com- 
panies rode off with their leaders, Walker's going to his claim near Fort 
Titus on the California road. Next morning the Topeka-Lecompton- 
Lawrence stage drew rein at Walker's cabin. The driver beckoned to the 
"captain" and whispered, "I've got Titus's wife and two children in the 
stage. If you want to get the damned scoundrel, now is your time." 

Titus's new and gleaming pillared mansion stood only three miles away. 
What a chance to retaliate on the ruffians who had invaded his cabin 
threatening to thrash him! Walker ordered all his men with horses to 
saddle and follow him. Footmen were instructed to bring Old Sacra- 
mento. Down the road, Walker's horsemen met Colonel Harvey. The 
Chicagoans had fought a night skirmish with Titus's men, and had killed 
one of them, but the rest had retreated over there. Harvey waved in the 
direction of dark clouds gathering over Fort Titus — a storm coming sure. 
The two leaders planned an attack, as the storm brewed. Old Brown ap- 
peared out of the tall weeds with his hard-eyed boys. They, too, were 
looking for Colonel Titus. 

The over-all command was given to Samuel Walker. He divided the 
men into squads of ten and deployed them around Titus's buildings, 
warning each to prevent any of the proslavery men from escaping to the 
United States soldiers encamped in nearby Lecompton. At a given signal 
the free-state men opened fire from behind trees, outhouses, and the barn, 
shouting gleefully as frightened figures ran from their tents to the shelter 
of Titus's blockhouse. 

The bombardment lasted several hours with casualties on both sides. 
Walker himself was knocked down, with several buckshot in the chest, 


but continued to give orders. Finally, Old Sacramento rumbled in. Can- 
non balls, melted from type destroyed in Lawrence last May, were rammed 
down her throat. "Here comes a new edition of the Herald of Freedom" 
men shouted, as the big gun belched at the buildings. The storm clouds 
were getting darker, and Walker sent for a load of hay — the old per- 
suader — to set on fire before the rain came. The burning wagon rolled 
toward the blockhouse and a white flag appeared. Twenty-seven dishev- 
eled men slouched into the yard. Six remained inside, too badly wounded 
to move. Titus himself stood in the doorway, his heavy-set figure ragged 
and blood-smeared from gashes on his head, face, and shoulder. 

A dozen rifles pointed in his direction, the hammers clicking ominously. 
Walker ordered the guns down, limped forward, took the miserable man's 
sword, and entered the building, where a poster on the wall announced a 
reward of five hundred dollars for his own head "off or on his shoulders." 

The wounded men were carried out as prisoners. Harvey's men loaded 
Titus's tents in their wagons for their own use. Then the pillared mansion 
was set on fire, and the men marched merrily down the California road 
in a drizzling rain. One wounded man, left on the second floor, burned 
to death. A Negro belonging to Titus joined the throng chuckling, 
"Massa Titus wanted six abolitionists for breakfast! Yah! Yah! Gorra 
Massy! guess he get his belly full dis mo'nin'." 

At the Walker cabin, Sam's wife stormed out to give the victorious 
commander a tongue-lashing for sparing Titus's life, threatening not to 
live with him until the villain was executed. She and her little ones had 
suffered too much at Titus's hands to feel any sympathy for him. 

Walker grinned sheepishly and marched on. Never before had the free- 
state men achieved such victories — three in rapid succession, Franklin 
on August ii, Saunders on the fifteenth, and Fort Titus on the sixteenth. 
All hail Lane's Army of the North, whether or not many men from it had 
taken part! 

United States soldiers had heard the firing from their encampment out- 
side Lecompton, but paid no attention. The deaths of three men, the 
wounding of half a dozen more, and the capture of Titus could not be 
completely overlooked, however. On August 17, Governor Shannon drove 
into Lawrence to make a treaty of peace — strange recognition! Twice 
now, he had met the free-state men as belligerents on an equal footing 


with the administration. The terms were simple: prisoners held on both 
sides to be liberated; Old Sacramento to be sent back to Lecompton; the 
free-state cannon, taken from Lawrence in May, to be returned. When 
all arrangements were concluded, Shannon attempted to address the citi- 
zens of Lawrence — not the old crowd of free-state men he had seen in 
December but arrogant newcomers from the Lane trail, many of them 
Harvey's Chicago toughs. Shouts and waving guns prevented the gover- 
nor from being heard until Walker jumped on his horse and with drawn 
pistols restored order. 

The ordeal ended, Shannon went home across the quiet prairie, musing 
about the sudden increase of lawless free-state men in Lawrence. Things 
looked very dark ahead. At Lecompton he stepped down from his car- 
riage, walked into his new T executive residence, and sat down at his desk. 
He wrote to the department commander that the situation was "dangerous 
and critical." Eight hundred desperate men in Lawrence seemed deter- 
mined to come to Lecompton and destroy the capital. Shannon blotted the 
paper with a sprinkling of sand, then dipped his pen in ink to write an- 
other letter — this one to Franklin Pierce, tendering a formal resignation 
as governor of Kansas. In the mail his letter passed another from the 
President dismissing him. 

Daniel Woodson became acting governor once more, and immediately 
took the Missourians' part, as he had always done. Gangs of proslavery 
settlers rode nightly on errands of revenge. Within two days seven cabins 
— including Sam Walker's — were burned to balance accounts for Titus's 
home. Atchison and Stringfellow had already called a meeting at Kansas 
City, urging all friends of law and order "who are not prepared to see 
their friends butchered, to be themselves driven from their homes, to 
rally instantly to the rescue." A mass meeting at Lexington, Missouri, 
voted men and guns "to kill the damned Abolitionists or drive them from 
the territory." The Weston Argus announced that Lane and his Army of 
the North had destroyed Franklin, also a Georgia hamlet on the Marais 
des Cygnes, and was now battering at Lecompton — "Civil War has be- 
gun." The Mobile Tribune printed a letter from Kansas imploring the 
South to send reinforcements. "Bring each of you a double-barrel gun, 
a brace of Colts revolvers and a trusty knife." The Weekly Mississippian 
announced: "Lane is already in the territory with his marauders and 


2000 more men are on the northern boundary waiting to enter." The 
Chicago Tribune asserted: "Kansas is now in a state of open war. . . . 
It is not a war in which the interests of Kansas are alone at stake, but the 
cause of freedom in the whole country." The editor urged men to go or 
finance others to go. The Massachusetts State Kansas Committee pur- 
chased two hundred carbines and sent them for John Brown to sell to re- 
liable settlers. Propagandists urged the North not to wait for the Novem- 
ber elections but send aid "now-today." 

The Missourians aroused the border with a broadside stating, in bold- 
faced type, that Lane with "3000 lawless abolitionists" was planning to 
attack Lexington, Independence, Westport, and New Santa Fe. Missouri 
militiamen reached for their double-barreled guns and traipsed out to 
the rallying ground. Acting Governor Woodson called out the militia and 
accepted Missourians, as he had in the Wakarusa War, officially calling 
them Kansas volunteers. "Let the watchword be 'extermination total and 
complete,' " he crowed. 

The disorders were reported to President Pierce by General Pulsifer 
Smith, with an enclosure of Woodson's proclamation and the additional 
information that the Missouri militia were in the field. Something must 
be done or the two states would be in open war. Pierce laid down the im- 
mediate problems on his desk and appointed a new governor for Kansas 
— John W. Geary, an ideal choice if there ever was one. Geary stood six 
feet, five and a half inches tall, a majestic figure who had distinguished 
himself in the Mexican War by leading the charge for Chapultepec. He 
understood the frontier, knew how to deal with border outlaws and 
vigilance committees, having been first mayor of San Francisco. Moreover, 
Geary was a Pennsylvanian by birth. He understood both sides of the sec- 
tional controversy, had employed slaves in his Virginia mines, yet had 
helped bring California into the Union as a free state. Furthermore, Geary 
possessed the courage to make a decision. Surely he would not blow hot 
and cold according to his company, as Shannon had done. The President 
promised to continue the full co-operation of the army and, most impor- 
tant, to placate the free-soil opposition, he would release the "treason" 
prisoners — at least on bail — until duly tried. This was a big concession, 
for the President blamed the Kansas trouble on New England agitators 
like Robinson. 


With these promises, Geary hoped to launch his administration on an 
even keel. Then the antiadministration majority in Congress ruffled the 
water before he took the helm. Lane's Army of the North seemed to be 
turning the tide in favor of the antislavery party. Why permit the United 
States Army to check them and reinstate the proslavery dictatorship? 
Better tie the new governor's hands and let the squatters be sovereign. 
The House tacked an amendment on the army appropriation bill to 
prevent the military from upholding the Lecompton laws in Kansas. Let 
the proslavery Senate agree to that amendment or have no funds for the 
army! The Senate refused, and taunts shuttled back and forth between 
the factions. Next, to show that they meant business, the majority in the 
House adjourned, leaving the army with insufficient financial support. 

President Pierce was caught. The nation could not live without an army. 
Other areas besides Kansas needed the military. On the plains, Cheyenne 
bubbled with revolt, vigilantes in California defied the authorities, and 
a boundary dispute with Britain in Oregon might entail the show of 
force before proper adjustment. President Pierce immediately called a 
special session and laid the dire predicament before Congress. Would the 
nation's entire existence be sacrificed on the Kansas altar? Jim Lane was 
reported to be just north of the Kansas line, with a second division of 
his "army," waiting for the failure of the army bill. Did the House, on 
due deliberation, want civil war out there? A majority decided in the 
negative, the army appropriation bill passed, and Geary set of? to his 
new post. 

As the new governor traveled west, the militia which Woodson had 
called to the colors entered Kansas in two columns under command of 
Ex-Senator Atchison, "General" Stringfellow, and the Honorable John W. 
Reid, a Missouri legislator. Reid, a six-foot giant weighing two hundred 
pounds, had distinguished himself under Doniphan at Sacramento and 
now held a claim two miles west of the Shawnee Mission, where he had 
built a fine two-story log house with puncheon floors and trotway boarded 
up as an entrance hall. A third column, of a hundred and fifty men, un- 
der the command of Ex-Indian Agent George Washington Clarke, 
marched out of Fort Scott — the principal town in southeast Kansas, only 
recently abandoned as an army post. Reid and Clarke both marched 
toward Osawatomie — infamous lair of Old John Brown. Atchison hoped 

lane's army of the north 8 1 

to destroy the "Boston abolition town" of Lawrence. Of the three, Clarke's 
column marched first, but the free-state settlers in southeast Kansas 
rallied under James Montgomery, a small, black-bearded "Campbellite" 
preacher who had come to Kansas from Ohio, via Kentucky and Missouri, 
and hated slavery. He had made a name for himself locally by daring to 
oppose fraudulent elections. On August 25, 1856, Montgomery's men 
overtook Clarke's during a noon rest at Middle Creek, nine miles from 
Osawatomie, and opened fire. Thoroughly surprised, the proslavery parti- 
sans fled, leaving their baggage, most of their horses, boots, coats, vests, 
hats, two wounded men, a dinner already cooked, and a flag inscribed, 


The gleeful free-state men collected the loot and returned to their 
homesteads — all but Montgomery. He crossed into Missouri disguised as 
an unemployed schoolteacher, got a job, taught two weeks, compiled a 
list of Clarke's men, and disappeared. In the next few months, he waylaid 
twenty of the raiders, taking their money, weapons, and horses. 

While Clarke's invasion was breaking up in panic, the columns under 
Atchison and Reid advanced arrogantly. Reid commanded two hundred 
and fifty men and one cannon. Beside him, as guide, rode the Reverend 
Martin White, chaplain of the Lecompton legislature. He had been ex- 
pelled from Osawatomie on account of his proslavery beliefs. Jogging 
south and west along the dirt road, the little column met Frederick Brown, 
son of Old John. The minister recognized the hated free-stater and shot 
him down, leaving his body in the roadside gutter. Reid ordered the 
column to spur ahead and surprise the town. 

Old Brown, with little warning, mustered forty-one defenders, posted 
them behind trees and a stone fence along the Marais des Cygnes Creek. 
When the enemy approached, Brown's men opened fire and held the in- 
vaders for over an hour, the giant form of "General" Reid booming threats 
of awful vengeance as soon as his six-pounder arrived. 

Finally the gun trundled down the road, was unlimbered, and balls 
blasted holes in the stone fence. Reid ordered a charge. His men rushed 
forward, powder horns flapping against butternut shirts. Over the wall 
they scampered and found it vacated. The enemy had retreated. One man 
remembered seeing Old Brown crossing the Marais des Cygnes with his 
linen duster floating out behind. 


The exulting victors cheered, shook hands, tossed wool hats into the 
sky, and passed around the bottle. Some returned to Missouri in high 
spirits. Others rode on to Osawatomie and burned four or five free-state 
houses there. 

Atchison's column, the largest of the three, marched straight for Law- 
rence. As by magic, Lane appeared from across the horizon, rallying men 
from farms and shops — among them wild young James Butler Hickok, 
who had been working with wagon trains on the Santa Fe Trail. A native 
of northern Illinois, "Wild Bill's" sympathies were naturally free-state, 
but extravagant clothes and soft glances from under sunbonnets interested 
more than politics, even more than the growth of his new, silky, 
long-horn mustache. Most important of all to him was the opportunity 
to display his rare skill with a pistol. 

Lane's volunteers met Atchison's on Bull Creek, fifteen miles north of 
Osawatomie. Both sides skirmished and retreated — Lane to Lawrence, 
Atchison to Missouri. Newspapers across the North crowed about the 
Grim Chieftain's military valor. 

As these three engagements were being fought, the stream of inde- 
pendent overland parties continued to arrive in Kansas with rifles con- 
cealed among their plows. Lane's men marched back from Bull Creek 
to find many newcomers fresh from the trail and eager to kill slaveholders. 
The Grim Chieftain decided that the time had come to capture Lecomp- 
ton and end the proslavery government — at least get back the prisoners 
who had not been returned under the last treaty. 

A plan of attack was agreed upon: Lane to lead one column out the 
California road and attack from the south; Colonel Harvey to cross the 
Kaw and invest Lecompton from the north. According to this agreement 
the Chicagoan marched up the north bank on September 4 and took posi- 
tion in the trees at the ferry, thus cutting off a retreat from the capital. 
All night long the Illinoisans lay on their arms in a sticky rain, waiting 
for Lane to begin the action across the river. Finally, a milky-pale dawn 
illuminated the eastern sky. Harvey's city toughs watched the sleeping 
hamlet stir, men trudging out to milk cows and lead horses to the river 
for a drink — but nowhere could they see Lane's men. An hour passed. 
The summer sun peeped over the horizon, striking diamond brilliance 
from the raindrops on grass and leaves — but still no Lane. The men 

lane's army of the north 83 

complained. They were hungry, hot, and wet. Colonel Harvey ordered 
them back to Lawrence, learned that Lane had marched twelve hours 
late and now stood before the proslavery capital. To hell with such a 

As Harvey brooded, Lane's battalion, with Walker second in command, 
deployed along the ridge south of Lecompton. The men scattered be- 
hind trees, in fence corners and weed thickets. Old Brown strode grimly 
with his boys, and "Wild Bill" Hickok, a veteran now, stood by to watch 
the fun. Two cannon were wheeled into place overlooking Lecompton. 
Flankers reported citizens barricading themselves in the unfinished capi- 
tol. Others, with the militia, crowded across the ferry — some swimming 
— but no Harvey lay concealed to stop their passage. 

In the United States Army camp at the edge of town, Lieutenant Colo- 
nel Philip St. George Cooke ordered bugles to blow "Boots and Saddles." 
Lieutenant Colonel Joseph E. Johnston and Captain H. H. Sibley both 
watched the dragoons swing into their saddles. Colonel Cooke instructed 
the sergeant to count off a detail, and with it he rode out to investigate 
the hostile lines. Lane saw them coming, dismounted, took a private's 
rifle and stood in ranks, undistinguishable among hundreds of armed 

Cooke followed the dirt road to the top of the low ridge and found 
himself at the flank of sixty horsemen. He recognized Walker in com- 
mand and called, "What in hell are you doing here?" 

"We are after our prisoners and our rights," Walker replied, reining 
his horse toward the lieutenant colonel. 

Cooke looked at the invaders' determined faces. He saw other detach- 
ments on other hills around Lecompton. "How many men have you?" 
he asked. 

"About four hundred foot and two hundred horseback," Walker said. 

"Well, I have six hundred men and six cannon, and you can't fight 
here — except with me." Evidently the United States Army was pledged 
to protect the capital. 

"I don't care a damn how many men you have," Walker said. "We are 
going to have our prisoners, or a big fight!" The little fellow showed 
plenty of spunk today, with the courage and assurance of a major general. 
Would the fortunes of life ever put him in such an exalted position ? 


Cooke knew citizen soldiers. He had watched Illinois frontiersmen in 
the Black Hawk War and the Mormon Battalion in the Southwest. Such 
troops might fight bravely or run in panic. "Don't make a fool of your- 
self, Walker," he said. "You can't fight here. Show me to General Lane." 

Walker replied that Lane was not in command. If the lieutenant colonel 
wished to confer with the leaders, however, he would call a council of 
war. Walker turned in his saddle and gave instructions to his aides. Soon 
the officers trotted up the hill and sat on their horses in a circle around 
the lieutenant colonel. 

"You have made a most unfortunate move for yourselves," Cooke told 
them. "The Missourians, you know, have gone and the militia have nearly 
gone, having commenced crossing yesterday to my knowledge. As to the 
prisoners, whilst [Cooke liked literary language and was writing a book 
on his Western -adventures] I will make no terms with you, I can inform 
you that they were promised to be released yesterday morning." 

The assembled horsemen asked for particulars and, as Cooke replied, 
a United States deputy marshal rode into the circle demanding the arrest 
of Walker and Lane. 

"Go to hell," Cooke snapped at him, "or rather go back to your camp." 

The marshal, "white as a cloth," replied shamefacedly that he dared not. 
Every tree, stump, and rock on the way was topped by a gun pointed at 
him, and the hammers were cocked. Walker agreed to escort the man out 
of his lines and to order the "army" dispersed if the prisoners were given 
up at once. With this, Lieutenant Colonel Cooke galloped back to town. 
He met Jones, greatly excited. The sheriff wanted Lane arrested, even if 
the deputy did not. Cooke, happy to have averted hostilities, said that he 
would help with no arrests this night. Then, recalling his military instruc- 
tion to act under the governor's orders, he took Acting Governor Wood- 
son to one side and said, "If you want him arrested, write your requisition, 
but I think, on reflection, you will hardly make it." 

Woodson understood the meaning of Cooke's statement. He, too, had 
seen the determined men surrounding the capital and decided to let sleep- 
ing lions alone. The three weeks he had been in office had stirred up suffi- 
cient violence already. 

V I I 
Geary Takes Command 

Four days after Sam Walker had stood firm before the United States 
Army, Governor John W. Geary steamed up the Missouri to administer 
a situation that had ruined his two predecessors. The vessel was loaded 
with bearded Border Ruffians clumping along the decks in rough boots 
with knife handles peeping from the tops, pistols thrust precariously in 
broad belts. At Lexington, Missouri, a belligerent crowd in gaudy red and 
blue shirts embroidered with hearts and eagles stood on the dock. At 
Kansas City landing, the crowd was greater still. A hack on the levee had 
both sides painted in flaming capitals: border ruffian. Loafers shouted 
that a Missouri "army" was assembling at Westport to retaliate for the 
siege of Lecompton. Everywhere the governor looked, he saw men enjoy- 
ing the indolent life of a soldier. 

Striding down the gangplank at Leavenworth, the governor found the 
town in the hands of proslavery outlaws — fantastic fellows with weather- 
beaten hat brims pinned up in front or on one side with a cockade, star, 
or eagle. Chicken, turkey, or goose feathers in the crowns made some hats 
resemble Indian war bonnets. Lawyer William Phillips had been lynched 
recently. A man of courage, he had dared come back after being tarred, 
feathered, and sold at auction for protesting the fraudulent election. 

Outside Leavenworth, the road Geary must take to the capital was 
reported to be infested with armed robbers who thought nothing of kill- 
ing a traveler for his horse. Before venturing on it, Geary wrote a long 
letter to United States Secretary of State William L. Marcy describing 
the chaos. Most of the bona fide settlers on both sides, he reported, sin- 
cerely wished peace, but ambitious scoundrels incited the lawless elements 


for their own profit. Already, he said, it was plain to him that the partisan 
militia had aggravated the situation. More Federal troops were needed. 

On the morning of September 10, 1856, Governor Geary set off for 
Lecompton with a military escort — a resolute man determined to govern. 
Along the road he noticed deserted cabins, charred chimneys, broken 
fences, and was told that many settlers had returned East. Others had 
fled for security among the reservation Indians. Once he spied a distant 
group of people. The picket who rode over to investigate reported them 
to be free-state refugees, huddled together for mutual protection. 

At Lecompton, Geary stepped down from his carriage, bold and confi- 
dent. Rowdies in the street resembled gold-rush forty-niners. Geary knew 
the breed. In a crude board building he established headquarters, and 
things began to hum. The militia and all other armed bands were ordered 
to disperse. He saw to it that the treason prisoners were released on bail 
and asked for the removal of Judge Lecompte, "General" Clarke, and 
elderly Marshal Donaldson — the three hated Federal officials. He re- 
fused to accept the services of a volunteer company offered by Henry 
Clay Pate, who had just arrived from a recruiting trip to Virginia. Boldly, 
he told one and all that he had come to serve no clique nor faction. "Mark 
my word," Sam Walker told him, "you'll take the underground railroad 
out of Kansas in six months." 

Tall, experienced, and impressive, Geary thought not. Border Ruffians 
looked no bigger to him than Californians. "I'll show you," he retorted, 
striking the table with his fist, "and all the d rascals that I'm gover- 
nor of Kansas. The administration is behind me." 

Governor Geary had not reckoned with the proslavery forces. Fearing 
for their reign, they plotted at once to give Geary a dose of Shannon and 
Reeder medicine. They had forced the President of the United States to 
back down before. They would do so again. Robinson, released from jail, 
had been back in Lawrence just four days, when several thousand Mis- 
sourians under the command of Atchison were reported to be marching 
towards the town — militia disbanded "in a horn!" 

Citizens quaked before the report. Robinson had had no time to organ- 
ize his followers and Lane's whereabouts were unknown — probably in 
Nebraska guiding incoming emigrants. Old acquaintances had learned 
new tricks and many of them were out of town on raids with wild bands 


like Harvey's, stealing horses and pillaging travelers. Old Brown stalked 
the streets, unafraid of the approaching "army" and advising all who 
would listen, "Keep cool and fire low." Robinson was at his wit's end. 
He had known Geary in California and decided to appeal to him for 
protection. To insure getting the message through, he dispatched three 
couriers by three different routes. One of the riders, H. A. W. Tabor, was 
an adventurous young man with big ideas who intended to keep going 
west to the Rockies if he failed to make a fortune in Kansas. 

Governor Geary received the messages late at night. Being a man of 
action, he aroused Lieutenant Colonel Cooke and the two set off with four 
hundred dragoons and four cannon at two o'clock on the morning of 
September 13, 1856. At dawn they drove into Lawrence, found the village 
demoralized as reported — but crowded with roistering men. Inadequate 
barricades obstructed two streets. The wrecked hotel's smoky wall had 
been converted into a fort. Lieutenant Colonel Cooke sniffed contemp- 
tuously. Soldiers asked curiously about Jim Lane and were told by grin- 
ning loafers that he had gone to California "with a cannon under each 

"Governor" Robinson invited Governor Geary to a conference. The 
Kansan's house had been burned down by the pillagers in May, and he 
was practically a stranger in his own town among the hundreds of new- 
comers who had flocked down the Lane Trail during his imprisonment. 
Robinson either did not know, or did not care to say, that many of these 
were Harvey's "thieves" just in from a rich raid, having stolen a goodly 
number of horses and supplies from the Russell and Majors depot. (Wad- 
dell joined the firm in 1857.) The transportation firm was considered fair 
game, since its Leavenworth warehouse had been opened for storage of 
equipment taken from free-state emigrants. Governor Geary had seen 
these "thieves" in the distance as he drove from Leavenworth to Lecomp- 
ton and had mistaken them for refugees. As the two governors watched 
the motley assemblage in the Lawrence streets, Robinson excused their 
possession of arms as necessary to ward off the impending invasion of 
Border Ruffians, only four miles away. He failed to add, if he knew, that 
a town committee was at that moment planning distribution of Harvey's 
loot as a civic bonus. 

Geary accepted Robinson's explanation, admitting that Americans of 


spirit would protect their property. This was a new attitude for an admin- 
istration governor. The balding personification of John Knox looked curi- 
ously at Geary's giant military figure, his bold staring eyes, full beard and 
delicate pointed nose. Could this man be representing the President? Cer- 
tainly Frank Pierce must have changed his policy. First, treason prisoners 
had been released, and now the people were recognized as having the right 
to defend themselves from Missourians. Perhaps the November elections 
were behind it all. Did the Democrats fear losing their free-soil Northern 
wing more than the slave power? In any event, Robinson saw plainly that 
Geary did not want Lawrence destroyed. But he was unprepared for the 
next turn of events. As the conference terminated, travelers announced 
that Atchison's army was marching back to Missouri. Had peace come? 

Governor Geary's determined administration had succeeded admir- 
ably — so it seemed. He called a mass meeting of the Lawrence citizens, 
reminded them of his proclamation ordering both parties to lay down their 
arms, promised to make the enemy obey it, and hoped that all would re- 
turn "to their peaceful fields and benches in this fair and blooming land 
of opportunity." Then the imposing man stepped into his carriage and 
drove with the dragoons back to Lecompton. 

Twenty-four hours later scouts dashed into Lawrence stating that Atchi- 
son's army had not dispersed, as reported, but had wheeled and was 
marching once more toward their city. Governor Geary whipped back in 
his carriage, this time going to the proslavery encampment. He found a 
real army of twenty-seven hundred men, well-organized, and commanded 
by red-faced Atchison, Territorial Representative Whitfield, Indian Agent 
George W. Clarke, and the grandiose Colonel Titus, his wounds band- 
aged. The entourage included Judge Sterling Cato and Sheriff Sam Jones, 
the former presumably to issue warrants and the latter to serve them, 
thereby proving the proslavery government's sovereignty. 

Governor Geary asked the leading officers to meet with him in the cool 
room of a nearby clapboard house in Franklin. Here Atchison explained 
that their errand was peaceful. They had come only to apprehend an "or- 
ganized band of murderers and robbers said to be under the command of 
Lane, who have plundered and butchered large numbers of our fellow- 
citizens." Atchison said that his only purpose was to overpower the band 
and drive it from the territory — a revealing admission! 


Governor Geary told him that he had just visited Lawrence. Lane and 
his band were not there, and destruction of the village would only aggra- 
vate matters. As a good Democrat, he wished to remind good Democrats 
that an attack on Lawrence might cost them the November election. He 
was fresh from Washington as a representative of the President and knew 
the wishes of the administration. Let the Missourians go home, and he, 
Governor Geary, would take care of the abolitionists. 

These positive words from a military man backed by the President had 
their effect. Atchison ordered his men to their homes saying: "He [Geary] 
promised us all we wanted." Thus Lawrence was spared, and old John 
Brown disappeared in the sunflowers — a dangerous place for him! 

Governor Geary drove back to Lecompton behind Atchison's Kickapoo 
Rangers. The experience turned him against the proslavery party in Kan- 
sas. Jogging along the dirt road, between walls of weeds, the governor no- 
ticed that every house had been freshly pillaged by the Missourians ahead 
of him. At one, he talked to a dying man, writhing by his gate, great sweat 
drops of pain on his forehead. The victim gasped his name, David C. Buf- 
fum, and said he had been working his field as the rangers passed. They 
spied his good horses and came in. BufTum begged to keep his property, 
said that he was a cripple supporting an aged father, a deaf and dumb 
brother, and two sisters all dependent on him for a living, and the horses 
were all he had. One of the rangers replied that he was a "God d — d aboli- 
tionist," and shot him in the stomach, unhooked the horses and led them 
away. The governor was familiar with battle and sudden death but not 
with murder of this kind by members of his own party. 

He arrived in Lecompton to find a detail of dragoons with a recently 
captured contingent of Lane's and Harvey's men, caught raiding the pro- 
slavery village of Hickory Point. These disheveled and bleary-eyed men 
might well have changed the governor's mind about guilt for all the vio- 
lence in the territory, but he could not forget the haunting words of Buf- 
fum. He ordered the immediate arrest of that farmer's murderer. A cul- 
prit was brought in, and Judge Lecompte — not dismissed, as Geary 
hoped — released him on a bond signed by Sheriff Jones, who was known 
to have not a dollar's worth of property. 

The enraged governor investigated further. He examined the circum- 
stances behind other arrests and discovered a jail full of free-state men, 



held on trivial or trumped-up charges. Perhaps this excused the retaliatory 
depredations of the notorious Jim Lane. 

Had Governor Geary known all that was occurring behind his back, 
the death of Buffum might not have influenced him so strongly. He did 
not know that on the day he arrived in Lecompton to assume office Jim 
Lane had ridden out of Lawrence to meet James Redpath, the journalistic 
showman, who admitted frankly that he was bringing a company to hasten 
a civil war. On the way Lane found many horses belonging to proslavery 
men. He decided to confiscate them for the cause. Good horses brought 
high prices in Nebraska and Iowa. With money in his pockets, Lane 
greeted the three or four hundred overland travelers who rumbled west- 
ward daily toward Kansas. He gave them instructions about the road 
ahead, described the best camping places, and reminded everyone to vote 
in November for Fremont and thus make Kansas a free state. 

Wagon men flocked to his rallies at Nebraska City and over the river 
at Tabor, Iowa. Always sensational, Lane announced next that he had been 
challenged to fight a duel "by two aged men" who hoped to end the war 
in Kansas by sacrificing their lives, if necessary. Let the fate of slavery in 
the territory be settled on the field of honor, and thus stop the future 
shedding of innocent blood. Lane pronounced this a good idea and sug- 
gested an even better counterproposition. Why not leave the old men out 
of it and let him, James Henry Lane, and David Rice Atchison, each pick 
a hundred men to fight before twelve United States senators and twelve 
members of the House ? 

Thus, with many guffaws, the trial by combat ended in a farce, and 
when a newspaper in Nebraska City — edited by J. Sterling Morton — at- 
tacked Lane, his followers threatened to sack the office. Lane saw this as 
another opportunity of the kind he loved. He called for "a conciliatory 
meeting." The crowd came armed — free-state partisans and proslavery 
Missourians eager to give Lane his deserts. The Grim Chieftain looked 
them over, a contemplative scowl on his expressive face. Then he com- 
menced to speak. He thanked the Missourians for coming, complimented 
their civic interest in the few remarks he hoped to make, claimed to have 
had intimate friends in Missouri, said he had fought in the Mexican War 
beside the illustrious Doniphan, a brother in arms to many in the audience, 
no doubt. Were Doniphan present today, Lane continued, he would be 


much moved by this meeting to restore harmony and good will between 
Americans of opposing factions. Then Lane reminded the audience that 
he belonged to their political party, believing in the principles of Andy 
Jackson. Yes, he was proud of it, but as a good Democrat — and not a 
Frank Pierce Democrat — he believed in letting slavery alone where it 
now was (Fremont's Republican doctrine), but not extending it into the 
territories. Would the audience consider an experience he had once suf- 
fered in the South and then judge for themselves if they wanted slavery 
in Kansas ? Some years ago, Lane said, he and a young carpenter had gone 
to a sugar plantation seeking work. They asked the proprietor if he wanted 
any carpentering done? The slave owner looked them over, hooked his 
thumbs in the armholes of his vest and sneered, "I bought two carpenters 

"Great God," Lane boomed, "if such men are buying carpenters, ma- 
chinists, engineers, how soon will they sell you and me in their marts of 
human merchandise?" 

The Missourians looked at one another's calloused hands. They liked 
this fellow Lane. After all, free-state emigrants might be good for the 

Among the wagon trains rumbling into Kansas rode most of the mili- 
tant free-state men who had fled the territory. The stubby Scotsman, Rich- 
ard J. Hinton, was reported to be leading a party of five hundred footmen 
armed by the Boston humanitarian, Theodore Parker. Shalor W. Eldridge, 
the free-state hotel man, led still another wagon train with Samuel C. 
Pomeroy, the Emigrant Aid Company's agent. Both had witnessed the 
May raid on Lawrence and gloried in the retribution rolling across the 
prairies. Other young men with the wagons were John Kagi and Richard 
Realf, zealots barely out of their teens, eager to participate in some wild 
attempt to free the slaves. Kagi was the earnest son of Austrian emigrants, 
Realf a handsome boy-poet recently arrived from Britain. James Redpath, 
the journalist, brought a hundred and thirty men, Old Brown another 
battalion of fighters. 

A United States patrol on the Kansas border searched all wagons for 
arms. Trains without women were particularly suspect. Wily emigrants 
smuggled their weapons through beneath sacks of grain, plows, and spin- 
ning wheels. A noteworthy party of three wagons led by nineteen-year-old 


Preston Plumb brought a brass twelve-pounder, 250 boxes of Colt revolvers, 
250 bowie knives, and 20,000 rounds of ammunition. With him came 
Samuel F. Tappan, rescuer of Branson from Sheriff Jones, and prominent 
in most Kansas shooting affairs since. Plumb was a slim, freckle-faced 
youth, flat-chested and with a bad cough. He had serious, pouting lips, a 
self-important bearing, and a nervous habit of tossing his head as though 
to throw back a lock of hair. By trade a newspaper printer, he planned 
a great future for himself in politics and constantly sought an audience. 
When talking to any individual, he watched to see if others were listening 
and raised his voice for them to hear. On the trip west he joined the men's 
amusements with a patronizing air, and at every opportunity discoursed 
on politics. He was sure that Kansas tyranny had dimmed Buchanan's 
prospects in the November election and gloried in being part of a grand 
crusade against a dictatorial government. 

Sam Tappan had brought along a copy of Whittier's poems, and he 
walked ahead of the wagons, singing with Plumb : 

We cross the prairie as of old 
The pilgrims crossed the sea. 

Plumb could not sing a note but made plenty of noise striding along, 
coatless and in high-heeled boots, tossing the imaginary lock of hair out of 
his eyes. 

Plumb's wagons succeeded in crossing the border with the artillery unde- 
tected, but after reaching Topeka, Plumb learned that Geary's military 
heel had crushed out violent protest. The war was over, so Plumb rode 
south, where he founded the town of Mariposa, named for his beloved 
Fremont's California estate. He planned to stay on the fringe of civiliza- 
tion until after the November election, then ride west of Fort Riley, live 
in the open, hunt buffalo, and overcome his tendency to tuberculosis. In 
case he learned to be a good marksman, he might add a military career to 
his political ambitions. 

Geary had restored peace by upholding the proslavery government and 
at the same time remorselessly preventing the persecution of free-state 
men. He had diverted the turbulent energies of both Walker and Titus 
by commissioning the homespun free-stater and the jaunty becaped cava- 
lier in his state troops. He had even connived to have Old Brown leave 


Kansas without arresting him. Thus, as the national election day ap- 
proached, Geary could announce to a watching world: "Peace now reigns." 

With Kansas quiet at last, Buchanan won the election over Fremont, 
and secession was postponed another four years. However, the victory was 
narrow, and Buchanan would be a minority President. The Know-Noth- 
ing or antiforeign party had polled more votes than the antislavery Re- 
publicans, but the Democrats had definitely lost popular favor, although 
they did carry the pivotal state of Pennsylvania by an overwhelming ma- 
jority in spite of vigorous opposition by Ex-Governor Reeder. 

Pierce's failure in Kansas had been due to faulty administration. Bu- 
chanan was an older man with much more diplomatic experience. He 
would inherit a bad muddle but might have the character to straighten it 
out. In the meantime, Pierce had almost four months to serve. Admittedly, 
the free-staters dominated Kansas. Proslavery leaders had wanted a con- 
test, had tried to win Kansas by violence and had lost. Colonel Titus real- 
ized that his usefulness was gone and he embarked on a new adventure. 
President Pierce had recently recognized filibuster William Walker as dic- 
tator of Nicaragua. Titus decided to raise a company and join him. Cen- 
tral America seemed more attractive to a freebooter now than Kansas. He 
offered to release all political prisoners who would go with him. Titus left 
Kansas in an artificial blaze of glorious entertainments at the Planters 
House in Leavenworth and the Gillis House in Kansas City. 

The Kansas which Buchanan would inherit differed from the Kansas 
which had given Pierce so much trouble- In 1857 over a hundred thousand 
emigrants arrived in the territory — most of them from Ohio, next from 
Missouri. The tremendous increase in population started an unprecedented 
boom in land values. The bitter proslavery town of Leavenworth became 
free-state, and a lot which had cost $8 sold for $2000 within six months. 
Judge Samuel D. Lecompte paid $1900 for a squatter's right to a claim on 
land still owned by the Indians. In addition to the money made by specula- 
tion, the overland freighting business continued to boom. Military posts 
out on the plains must be supplied. A campaign against the Cheyenne was 
being outfitted, and a gigantic expedition — to cost at least $6,000,000 — 
was being planned against Mormons, who were as recalcitrant as the To- 
peka Kansans had ever been. Russell, Majors and Waddell now had 20,000 
work cattle and 2000 wagons, together with all the men necessary for such 


a business. Positive Dan Anthony, who had come with the first Emigrant 
Aid party, started a newspaper in Leavenworth. Tom Ewing, a young 
lawyer, looking for a location for himself and his brother-in-law, William 
Tecumseh Sherman, decided that Leavenworth was the place. "Everything 
is with the Squatters," Ewing wrote his wife, "Governor, Army officers, 
soldiers and all — even the speculators have gone in with them and become 
identified in interest." 

Leavenworth was not the only bonanza burgeoning in Kansas. Special 
trains of twenty-five and thirty cars brought emigrants from the Middle 
West to all the embarking docks — freemen all, with no slaves. A ma- 
cadam road was built through the mud from Kansas City landing to West- 
port, and the leaders of that proslavery town passed resolutions welcoming 
newcomers regardless of their politics. 

Victory for the free-state faction seemed assured at last. All that was 
left of the Atchison machine sat in the legislature, and they could easily 
be deposed at the next election. With this favorable prospect "Governor" 
Robinson resigned from the Topeka government, giving the document to 
Geary. Everything was now in order for the establishment of peace and a 
rule of the majority in Kansas. But when the legislature convened in Janu- 
ary, 1857, for its second and last session, instead of bowing to the will of 
the people, they passed a bill for a convention to draft a state constitution 
to be sent to Congress for approval without ratification by the Kansas 
voters. Thus the proslavery clique might impose its machine permanently 
against the will of the majority. 

Geary protested, and the assembly passed the act over his veto. The exe- 
cutive and the lawmakers were now public antagonists, with no hope of 
compromise. Rowdies threatened Geary's life. He applied to Fort Leaven- 
worth for troops and learned that none were available, all too busy prepar- 
ing for the spring campaign. Was this true, or had Geary been deserted 
by the national administration ? At midnight Captain Sam Walker was 
aroused by a knock. The bepistoled governor came in. "I'm going to 
Washington," he said, "and I'll straighten things out." 

At the White House, Governor Geary found his fears confirmed. The 
administration did not want justice. Kansas must be controlled by the 
Atchison machine. The slave power demanded it. President Pierce criti- 
cized Geary pointedly for certain exaggerated statements he had made 


about the injustice of Lecompte's decisions — about the incarceration o£ 
men on trumped-up charges. There was nothing left for Geary but to re- 
sign — the third Democratic governor who would not truckle with injus- 
tices demanded by the slave interests. His resignation became effective on 
March 4, 1857, the day Buchanan took office. Let the new President start 
with a clean slate on the Western border. 

Buchanan Tries His Hand 

J ames buchanan was thirteen years older than President Pierce. His ex- 
perience with men and affairs was exceptional. He had been a United 
States senator, Secretary of State under James K. Polk, and minister to 
both Russia and Great Britain. Like Pierce, he lamented the widening 
sectional chasm over slavery and hoped that his administration might be 
the one to reunite the Democratic Party. He had been a personal friend of 
Andy Jackson's and counted on holding the allegiance of Old Hickory's 
admirers both North and South. In short, he looked back for old remedies 
instead of ahead for new ones. A nervous affliction made his head twitch 
slightly, but his general health seemed sufficiently robust for the task be- 
fore him. 

Buchanan was by no means sure that the antislavery movement would 
spread, that the Southern wing of the party must submit. Out in Missouri, 
next door to Kansas, the trend seemed to be in favor of slavery. Both Mis- 
souri's new senators had been elected by proslavery, antiforeign majorities 
opposed to the Thomas Hart Benton group. Moreover, Buchanan had rea- 
son to believe that the Supreme Court of the United States would solve the 
slavery question in Kansas by a decision in the case of Dred Scott, a Negro 
who claimed freedom because his master had removed him to free soil. 

For governor of Kansas, Buchanan appointed Robert J. Walker, a little 
whiffet of a man with lifelong Democratic Party allegiance and big con- 
structive ideas. Born in western Pennsylvania, Walker had made and lost 
a fortune in the South, and had served as senator from Tennessee. He 
knew the frontier South, had sat in the gallery when Sumner delivered his 
oration on the crime against Kansas, and had read in the papers about the 
successive failures of Reeder, Shannon, and Geary. He considered the ap- 


pointment a doubtful honor and refused to accept it until promised by 
President Buchanan and the Senate leader, Stephen A. Douglas, that a ma- 
jority of the people in Kansas would be allowed to determine their own 

The hopeful little governor began his administration by publishing an 
eight-column inaugural address recognizing the Lecompton government 
and prophesying great prosperity for everyone in the booming territory, 
even hinting the possibility of railroad subsidies. On the slavery question 
he hedged. Like Douglas, he would not insult the Southerners by saying 
that the institution was wrong. Instead, he hoped to reconcile both wings 
by saying that the Kansas climate was not suited to slave labor. In short, 
he was willing, as Douglas was, to see slavery abolished, but he was un- 
willing to call it wrong. Lincoln, on the other hand, was willing to protect 
slavery where it was established but insisted that it be admitted wrong — 
a fine distinction but one that men would fight about. The Kansas gover- 
nor was promptly dubbed "Isothermal" Walker by the Republican press, 
which wanted a more outspoken opinion. 

In Washington, President Buchanan's cabinet read Walker's inaugural 
address with suspicion and disfavor. They had expected a special pleader 
for their proslavery interests, an adroit justification of the tyranny neces- 
sary to fix slavery on Kansas. Here was Buchanan's opportunity to reverse 
Pierce's subserviency and show his own force of character, but instead he 
agreed diplomatically with his official family. A change might be danger- 
ous. This was typical of Buchanan. 

Governor Walker, depending on the promise of Buchanan and Douglas 
that the majority be allowed to rule, urged the free-state people to vote for 
candidates to the Lecompton legislature, gain the majority of seats due 
them, and thus make Kansas legally a free state. He threatened to meet 
any further resistance with the United States Army. Under this combined 
promise and threat the free-state settlers voted. Missourians feared to cross 
the border as they had in previous elections. They knew too well that 
James Henry Lane could call out his clan from every corncrib and wheat 
shock. One chawback who had had his fill of marching into Kansas said, 
"They have got a cannon over there, some Yankee invention, I suppose, 
that they load by putting the balls in a hopper, the same as a miller puts 
grain in a hopper, to grind." But the Missouri faction was not whipped. In- 


stead of invading the polls this year, they tried to win by another ruse. 
Sufficient ballot boxes were stufied to keep the majority proslavery. Some 
frauds were blatant. A precinct with six houses returned 1628 votes. A 
poll book in another area contained names copied from the city directory 
of Cincinnati. 

Governor Walker, true to his word, threw out the questionable returns. 
Henry Clay Pate's Border Star complained that worse frauds had been 
committed by free-state men. To pad their majority, he claimed, ballots 
had been cast by "bloomers and children," "hump-backed hirelings," and 
"two woolly-headed, flat-nosed, thick-lipped negroes. ... It is hard to 
conceive the Anglo-Saxon race could stoop so low." Contemptuously 
ignoring the governor's decision, Judge Cato issued a mandamus for the 
issuance of certificates of election in the suspected precincts. Sheriff Jones, 
one of the disqualified candidates, demanded his "paper" at pistol's point. 

Governor Walker, outraged at this lawlessness, loaded his own "pepper- 
box" and with the territorial secretary, Frederick P. Stanton, stamped into 
all the drinking dives in Lecompton. At card tables and along the bars, he 
tongue-lashed the politicians. Giant Geary had never shown more courage 
and energy than this sickly little whiffet. 

Complete free-state victory seemed to have been won at last, but the 
proslavery machine had not forgotten its last line of defense. The delegates 
sitting in the constitutional convention were members of the old Atchison 
organization. They could and probably would draft a proslavery constitu- 
tion and ask to have Kansas admitted under it without popular approval. 
Geary had objected to this and was removed by President Pierce. Would 
Buchanan act in the same manner? Already he seemed more firmly in 
the grasp of the slave power than Pierce had been. Surely he would compel 
Walker to acquiesce or quit. 

The little governor had proved himself as stubborn and righteous as 
Reeder. President Buchanan had promised him that the majority must rule 
in Kansas, and he in turn had promised the Kansans an opporutnity to 
vote on their own constitution. When he saw what the constitutional con- 
vention planned, Walker called a special session of the newly elected legis- 
lature, with its free-state majority, to convene and, if they thought best, pass 
an act for a plebiscite on the constitution. The slave power would not 
tolerate this, and President Buchanan recalled Walker from office — the 


fourth governor to be removed by executives who put appeasement above 
principle. Pacifier Buchanan wanted peace in Kansas but, like Pierce, 
he wanted only a proslavery, one-party peace. 

The President's apparent connivance in this subterfuge to thwart ma- 
jority rule set the Republican press on fire. Flames of protest crackled across 
the continent. Something must be done. A sly solution to appease both 
parties was suggested. The remedy was said to come from Senator Doug- 
las, reputed to be the best straddler of the decade. The plan, if his, was 
simple. Let the people vote on the constitution "with slavery" or "without 
slavery," Thus, in either case, the proslavery machine's organic act would 
be accepted without popular approval, and the Democrats would maintain 
an advantage in Kansas. Senator R. M. T. Hunter, Atchison's old room- 
mate in Washington, published two elaborate arguments justifying this 
procedure, but the subterfuge succeeded only in convincing the North that 
the slave power had no intention of playing fair. 

Jim Lane spoke openly about leading a party of regulators to Lecompton 
to break up the deliberations, but never did so. The convention finally ad- 
journed, brazenly agreeing to send the constitution direct to Congress for 
approval, submitting only the slavery clause to the people. Lane set oflf 
behind his moccasin-colored horse to harangue mass meetings against the 
Lecompton fraud. He urged lynching every member of the convention un- 
less something was done. 

Frederick P. Stanton, the acting governor since Walker had left, feared 
a repetition of the vigilante lawlessness which had disgraced California, 
and ordered the special session of the legislature to meet on December 7, 
1857. Thus the free-state majority came into power at last. 

On the opening day of the legislature Jim Lane marched into town 
with the Lawrence Cornet Band and nine hundred celebrants on foot, 
on horseback and in carriages. George Deitzler, procurer of Sharps rifles, 
was elected speaker of the House. Lane was made major general of the 
territorial militia. In the midst of great gaiety a delegation arrived from 
southeast Kansas. They represented themselves as free-state settlers whose 
claims had been jumped by proslavery men, and they wanted Jim Lane to 
help them. The Grim Chieftain, expansive with new authority, dispatched 
subordinate "Generals" William Phillips, the stubby Scotsman, and tall, 
slim Preston Plumb with suitable commands. Then the major general 


himself followed to direct operations on the front, perhaps to enlist the 
entire free-state population to evict all proslavery claimants. 

Phillips and Plumb both rode south with their political ambitions and 
the men assigned to them. The former ranked high in the state's free-soil 
party since authoring a book on Kansas as well as several articles in the 
New Yor\ Tribune. Plumb had just returned from hunting buffalo on 
the plains, his health improved, his freckles more pronounced; so, also, 
was his peculiar habit of peeping from under an imaginary lock of hair 
toward an upper corner of the ceiling and tossing back his head before 
speaking. Maturity was accentuating his purposeful expression and the 
serious pout on his meditative lips. Already he was called the "Good 
Bishop," and he walked the earth with a stove poker for a spine. Now at 
last he could demonstrate military aptitude that would inevitably lead to 
political preferment. 

The southeast Kansas to which the "army" marched had not changed 
like the rest of the territory. No river transportation enabled hundreds of 
Eastern emigrants to float to these vast prairies. From Kansas City south 
to the Indian country a horseman could ride from Missouri to Kansas at 
any place, without hindrance. The abandoned military post at Fort Scott 
served as capital, county seat, and place of publication for the Southern 
Kansan — a defender of the proslavery interests. Most of the settlers were 
Missourians. Some had been driven from northern claims by free-state 
settlers and had taken new homesteads in these congenial surroundings. 
A few of Buford's legion who had been unable to beg their way back to 
Alabama also settled here. 

The present trouble was an outgrowth of last year's feud between fac- 
tions under little, black-haired, Campbellite preacher James Montgomery 
and the ex-Indian agent George W. Clarke, one of the dispossessed north 
Kansans who had moved south. Montgomery's followers maintained that 
y Federal Judge Williams, at Fort Scott, invariably ruled against free-state 
men's claims. Like Lecompte, up in north Kansas, "Fiddling Williams" 
was an easygoing fellow of the old school, popular with backwoodsmen. 
He liked to play, sing, and dance with the youngest of them, yet took his 
position seriously. It was a standing joke that he never charged a jury 
without managing some way to tell them that he had been chief justice of 


Iowa for forty years and in all that time had never seen a more intelligent 
panel than the one before him. 

Montgomery's partisans, noting the free-state success in north Kansas, 
decided to ignore Williams's decisions, organize a self-protective associa- 
tion and court of their own. Armed and determined, they resisted a United 
States marshal who came to break up their organization. Jim Lane had 
been educated with three years of this kind of revolution. People prophe- 
sied that he would sweep southeast Kansas with fire and sword. They did 
not know George Washington Clarke and his proud, vindictive, back- 
woods aristocrats. Late in December a rider dashed into Lawrence, after 
a forced ride of a hundred miles in twenty hours. He brought startling 
news. Lane was making a stand near Sugar Mount before a large body of 
well-organized Missourians. The border war seemed to be starting all over 

In desperation over the interminable Kansas imbroglio, President Bu- 
chanan turned to James W. Denver, his Indian Commissioner, who hap- 
pened to be in the territory. Denver was a Californian, having served as 
state senator there. He had known Kansas before there was a Kansas, 
knew David Rice Atchison personally, and understood extralegal vigilante 
organizations and how to deal with them. Taking the oath of governor on 
December 21, 1857, he announced that he would continue his predecessor's 
policy. He ordered United States dragoons to disperse the state "army" 
under Lane and also Clarke's regulators. The Grim Chieftain returned to 
Lawrence furious. What right had the slave power's governor to interfere 
with the squatters' right to maintain order with their own miltia? Lane 
had challenged Douglas for accusing him of forging part of the Topeka 
constitution. Now he sent an insulting letter to Governor Denver. Then 
Lane called his supporters to a midnight meeting to await a challenge 
from the governor. Lane told his friends that as the challenged party, he 
could choose the weapons, and he had decided on rifles. Owning a special 
Sharps target gun — the only one in Kansas — he felt confident that he 
would kill Denver. 

Lane notified Sheriff Sam Walker not to stop the fight. Walker had 
fallen heir to Jones's badge since the governmental turnover. He knew 
Jim Lane's furious instability, having faced him in another serious crisis 


in Nebraska in 1856. Sheriff Walker disregarded Lane's instructions and 
drove over to Lecompton to see Denver and prevent the challenge. The 
big governor laughed about Lane's letter and scorned the idea of a duel. 
He was much too busy. Kansas was booming. Contractors were buying 
thousands of oxen and mules for the Utah Expedition, which had stalled 
in the mountains. All available men were being hired. More important 
still were reports of the discovery of gold in western Kansas — out in the 
Rockies. Fall Leaf, the Delaware, a noted guide, had brought back from 
an expedition with the soldiers gold nuggets tied in a rag. He was a well- 
to-do Indian cattle owner whose quaint English could usually be depended 
upon for accuracy, and he maintained that the gold had come from the 
South Platte. This discovery might start an exodus of the turbulent border 
spirits and thus end the factional fighting. Already, some of the active 
young men in Lawrence were outfitting a wagon train. If the powers in 
Washington would let Kansans alone, the trouble might stop of its own 

President Buchanan with his proslavery cabinet did not intend to let 
Kansas solve its own problem. He was determined to placate the slave 
power and recommended that Kansas be admitted under the Lecompton 
constitution. His own party newspapers in the North protested this injus- 
tice. The Democratic stalwart Stephen A. Douglas had supported the 
President from the beginning, but now saw that his own seat was in 
danger if he submitted longer. He had championed squatter sovereignty 
as a solution of the slavery issue. Like an attorney defending a client, he 
had extolled the good points in this doctrine and probed the weak spots in 
the territory's case for the Topeka constitution — even to the point of be- 
ing challenged to a duel by Jim Lane. But now the people's will was evi- 
dent. Douglas refused to follow the President farther. 

The quarrel in Washington gave new hope to the proslavery group in 
southern Kansas. By April 1858, Fort Scott had become a haven of in- 
trigue. Settlers who had sold goods here to the soldiers now operated stores 
in the abandoned buildings. Two hotels housed the slave and free factions. 
At night partisans rode out to plunder settlers belonging to the opposing 
faction and returned to make merry in town. Times were never so gay nor 
so dangerous in the days when the army was stationed here. Many of the 
townsmen remembered Harney. Sumner, and Joe Johnston, but most 


vividly of all Nathaniel Lyon, the intense disciplinarian who had marched 
delinquent soldiers bareheaded across the parade ground with honey in 
their hair and barrels over their shoulders to prevent them from brushing 
away the flies. 

A new leader of the proslavery settlers had appeared in the Fort Scott 
area recently. Handsome, wealthy Charles A. Hambleton came from 
Georgia, with his brothers, at the suggestion of Milt McGee. Charles's 
father had contributed a thousand dollars to the Southern Emigrant 
Aid Company and had bidden his sons Godspeed. In Georgia the proud 
Hambleton clan was notorious for violence. Charles had been shot three 
times in a feud, and he came to Kansas with an abiding hatred of "aboli- 
tionists." His substantial log house with suitable slave quarters and stock- 
aded corral, in southeast Kansas, became headquarters for proslavery 
partisans until Montgomery and his followers drove them all from their 

In Missouri the refugees rallied around Charles Hambleton, and on 
May 19, 1858, they rode back into Kansas with seventeen Missouri allies 
to revenge themselves by what became known as the Marais des Cygnes 
Massacre. New leaves unrolling on trees and underbrush screened their 
approach. Spring beauties carpeted the woods and wild apple blossoms 
illuminated the hillsides. The determined riders jogged silently into the 
free-state community of Blooming Grove. A man with the euphonious 
name of Seth Belch operated the log-cabin store which served as center of 
this loose settlement. The Southerners dismounted, stamped in the open 
door, disarmed the customers, and bound their hands. Outside, a two- 
horse wagon emerged from the woods, coming down the road toward 
them. This, too, was captured. Then Hambleton took from his pocket a 
list of victims and called their names. Riders galloped to the doomed men's 
cabins. A blacksmith on the list saved his life by resisting, shotgun in 
hand. Eleven others, taken from their fields or dooryards, were driven 
down the road like livestock ahead of the horsemen. At a gulch draining 
into the Marais des Cygnes the riders herded the footmen of? the road and 
lined them up before a firing squad. 

"Gentlemen," one of the free-state victims said defiantly, "if you are go- 
ing to shoot, take good aim." 

"Ready," Hambleton commanded, but before he gave the order to fire, 


one of the Missourians lowered his gun. "I'll have nothing to do with such 
a piece of business as this." 

Hambleton drew his pistol and, waving menacingly, shouted: "Fire." 
A volley rang out and the eleven men crumpled to the ground — four 
dead, six wounded, one unhurt but pretending death. Hambleton strode 
among the bodies, turning them over with his boot. A man struggled in 
pain, and Hambleton put his pistol to his head, fired, missed the brain and 
shot through the cheeks, almost severing the base of the tongue — but the 
man lived. Other raiders began rifling the stricken men's pockets, leaving 
them inside out. Then the men mounted their horses and galloped away, 
separating in order to leave no trails in the soft spring woods. 

To revenge this outrage, Montgomery raided north, taking supplies 
from frontier stores within fifteen miles of Lecompton. Lane called out the 
militia around Lawrence and Topeka and started south to help Mont- 
gomery. Let Denver interfere if he could. One battalion of free-staters 
marched into Missouri and at West Point demanded the privilege of 
searching for Hambleton men. The townsmen, claiming innocence, sub- 
mitted meekly — but no one was found. 

Back in Massachusetts, the Marais des Cygnes Massacre wrung from 
the heart of John Greenleaf Whittier another of those poems, more deadly 
to the slave, cause than Sharps rifles. Describing, in metered pathos, the 
return of the victims' bodies to homes "yet warm with their lives," he 
announced to the world that "on the lintels of Kansas, that blood shall 
not dry." 

Henceforth to the sunset, 

Unchecked on her way, 
Shall liberty follow 

The march of the day. 

In reply to the rising emotionalism in the Republican Party, President 
Buchanan doggedly continued to court the slave power. He was deter- 
mined to admit Kansas under the Lecompton constitution and proposed 
to buy the Kansans' consent with a block of public land large enough to 
make the Sovereign Squats' mouths water. But the Kansans, thoroughly 
angry with his administration and encouraged by Eastern humanitarians, 
turned down the bribe. Federal authority was openly flouted in southeast 


Kansas. Slave owners, or even political supporters of Buchanan, risked 
their lives whenever they crossed the Missouri border. Conditions became 
so bad, Governor Denver decided to go himself with a party into southeast 
Kansas and re-establish law and order. 

At country stores and roadside clearings Denver talked with settlers. 
He asked about their troubles. Dirt farmers pushed their straw hats back 
on perspiring heads and told him, "I owe this farm to Montgomery. Yes, 
sir! I dggcr on votin' him into the legislature sometime." 

One day, as the executive carriages rocked along the country road, a 
black-bearded man rode up and jogged along beside the governor. He was 
pale and nervous. At times he bowed over his saddle coughing, but he 
looked Denver straight in the eye and admitted that he was James Mont- 
gomery. The governor made no attempt to detain him. Settlers seemed to 
approve Montgomery's acts, and would certainly prevent his arrest. 

Montgomery was not the only disturbing problem in southern Kansas. 
Governor Denver learned that John Brown had come back, steely eyes 
glittering with renewed zeal. Rumor said he was accompanied by Richard 
Realf, J. H. Kagi, and the Viennese August Bondi, who had served the old 
warrior during the capture of Henry Clay Pate. The presence of these 
revolutionists was enough to disturb any administrator. Obviously, they 
had reassembled for some purpose greater than making Kansas a free state, 
for that was now assured. In all probability they were bent on raiding into 
Missouri to liberate slaves, horses, and silver spoons from unsuspecting 
planters. To make things worse, these robbers were being financed by 
wealthy philanthropists in New England who sincerely believed in aboli- 
tion. More significant still, the violent practices of Brown, Montgomery, 
and Jim Lane were unquestionably approved by a great many of the 
Kansas voters, and in a democracy the people were supposed to rule. Gov- 
ernor Denver drove back to Lecompton a wiser and more perplexed man. 

The Kansas capital to which Denver returned was agog with new prob- 
lems. A few of the gold seekers had straggled back, some discouraged but 
others with samples of unmistakable "dust." The exciting news was being 
printed across the nation. Next spring would surely witness a gold rush. 
Already a town named Denver had been platted at the edge of the moun- 
tains, and the governor sent proper officials to establish and administer a 
new county there. Obviously, the old feud could not go on with such an 


influx of new men, new interests, new problems. Even "General" Atchi- 
son, visiting Leavenworth, told reporters that he had retired from public 
life and henceforth would devote himself exclusively to his farm and live- 
stock — or could he! Then, to cap it all, the governor learned that Jim 
Lane, too, was out of circulation. Sheriff Walker held him for murder. 

I X 

He'll Trouble Them More 
When His Coffin's Nailed Down 

Albert richardson, British correspondent, was lounging in the Herald of 
Freedom office in Lawrence on June 3, 1858, when someone outside 
shouted, "Jim Lane has killed Gaius Jenkins and a mob has gathered 
around his house to hang him." Looking out a window, the newsman saw 
people closing their offices, barring shutters, before they joined the crowd. 
Richardson stepped across the sidewalk, mingled with the curiosity seek- 
ers and hurried with them toward Lane's house. Breathless boys and grim- 
faced men with pistols in their belts joined the throng, asking for details, 
telling all they knew. Lane and Jenkins had quarreled for months over a 
claim boundary. The Midwestern faction had backed Lane. New Engend- 
ers, headed by Robinson, had naturally sided with Jenkins. He had been 
employed by the Emigrant Company to manage the American Hotel in 
Kansas City during the turbulent year of 1854. In 1856 he had been ar- 
rested for treason and imprisoned at Lecompton, like other free-state 
patriots. During the claim dispute with Lane he had tried to evict the 
Grim Chieftain and once, in Lane's absence, occupied his cabin. Lane 
complained that the New Englander had plowed the ground where his 
daughter lay buried, leaving no sign of the marker. In speech after speech 
to the drinking, laughing boys, Lane had minimized Jenkins's patriotic 
sacrifice and set his listeners roaring with frontier glee about Jenkins's 
being taken a prisoner to Lecompton by Milt McGee's "nigger." 

All these stories were familiar to the mob surging up the road. Men be- 
lieved or disbelieved them according to their factional prejudices. At 
Lane's cabin they stopped, mingling with the people already there. From 


Jenkins's house, across the field, shrill screams of grief could be heard — 
the harrowing voices of women and children. Spectators who had been 
present during the fight pointed to the broken fence. Gaius and a few 
friends had come through there this morning. He had a bucket in one 
hand and a gun in the other. As he strode toward the well to draw some 
water, Jim Lane stepped out of his house with a rifle and ordered him 
to turn back. Someone in Jenkins's party fired, hitting Lane in the knee. 
The Grim Chieftain shot Jenkins in the body, killing him. He lay over 
there in his house now with the mourning women and children. 
Lane had struggled back through his door and lay wounded under 
the care of his weeping wife. She had remarried him after getting a 

The crowd stood uncertain, talking angrily, wanting to do something, 
but lacking leadership. Among them strode Ex-Sheriff Jones, ready now to 
ally himself with the New Englanders to get revenge on Lane. "Lynch 
him," Jones shouted. 

Sheriff Walker heard the shrill cry and walked up to Jones. "Be careful 
how you recommend hanging," he said. "These people are a good deal 
excited already, and if they hang anybody it will be very likely to begin 
with you." Jones realized that he might serve as a sacrifice for the mob's 
fury and slipped away. Then Walker knocked at Lane's house, helped 
him to a carriage, and drove to the jail. 

A grand jury found no indictment against the Grim Chieftain, but the 
killing hurt him politically, especially with church people. The Leaven- 
worth Times quipped: "It seems that Gen. Lane's leg would have to be cut 
off. Well, in that case, he will, as a candidate, stump it all the better." But 
Lane shunned political gatherings. Instead he let himself be reconverted 
into the Methodist Church in several different Kansas towns, though with 
only partial sincerity, it seems, for a tavern keeper at Baldwin City was 
heard to admonish a boy leading a team to the creek, "Don't water them 
horses below where they baptized Jim Lane." 

With the approach of cold weather, Lane ventured back to the hustings, 
claiming always that he was a converted Christian. In platform speeches 
he would boom: "They say that Jim Lane is a blasphemer. Why he never 
used profane language in his whole life. Yes, once. At the battle of Buena 
Vista when he looked across at the enemy's threatening ranks of tasseled 


lancers, he turned to his mid-western farm boys and said, 'Charge on 'em, 
God d--n 'em! charge on 'em.' " 

Before long, Lane used the Jenkins homicide to his own advantage and 
on more than one occasion defended himself on the platform by asking: 
"And they say Jim Lane is a murderer, yes a murderer! What are the 
facts ? When the noble women of Lawrence were endeavoring to establish 
a public library, what did Jim Lane do? He took his old claybank horse 
out of the field where he was plowing to raise a little corn for his family, 
and sold that horse for $37.50 and gave the money to those noble women 
and yet, great God, they say Jim Lane is a murderer." 

The Grim Chieftain completely recouped his old-time popularity during 
the winter of 1858, but the gold rush had taken some of the zest from poli- 
tics. Life along the border had been revolutionized by the hundred thou- 
sand people who were buying supplies and equipment for the mountains. 
Merchants had never known such prosperity — much better for them than 
town-lot speculation. Gold discoveries crowded politics from the news- 
papers. In addition to suggestions about camp gear and jumping-off places, 
sixteen guide books were printed to aid overland travelers — one by Red- 
path and Hinton, who could seldom be diverted from the antislavery cru- 
sade. Even Tom Ewing, Sherman's partner in Leavenworth, set aside the 
practice of law for writing. 

Only in southeast Kansas was life unaffected by the Pikes Peak rush. 
There the endless squabble over land claims, G. W. Clarke's aggressions, 
and Montgomery's retaliation continued, with Old Brown and his revolu- 
tionists lurking in the woods. Fiddling Williams still administered justice 
unacceptable to the free-state men, and when he committed two of them 
to jail in Fort Scott, Montgomery rallied seventy-five rescuers — the largest 
"army" he had yet commanded. Sam Wood, the Quaker boy who had 
helped rescue Branson before the Wakarusa War, enlisted a troop of vigi- 
lantes and rode all the way from Lawrence to join Montgomery. Another 
party led by Preston Plumb trotted in from Emporia. Old John Brown 
joined the rendezvous with his followers, intent on action. No more mod- 
eration for him! The old fury asked for the top command and promised 
to lay Fort Scott in ashes. Montgomery spoke against such extremes, said 
that he had called the rally merely to release the prisoners held by Judge 
Williams's court. He wanted no property destroyed and no one hurt. The 


crowd voted in favor of Montgomery, and Old Brown stalked out of the 
meeting, but his revolutionary supporters remained. The mob marched 
quickly over to Fort Scott and captured it after a short skirmish. One pro- 
slavery defender was killed, and J. H. Kagi of Brown's company was 

Old Brown, a wild bull smelling blood, determined to outdo the Mont- 
gomery partisans. Financed by Easterners for a crusade, he must show 
results. The time had come for the tide to turn, for Kansas to begin invad- 
ing Missouri. Brown organized two little columns and secretly marched 
across the Missouri state line on December 20, 1858, raided several planta- 
tions, and came out with eleven slaves, some good horses, and other prop- 
erty. One slave owner had been killed. Brown started north with his fugi- 
tives in an ox wagon. Governor R. M. Stewart, of Missouri, appealed to 
Governor Denver and also to President Buchanan. The President offered a 
reward of $250 for Brown, and Brown printed handbills offering a reward 
of $.25 for Buchanan. Grinning grimly, he disappeared with his ox team 
and his Negro fugitives into the maze of prairie roads meandering north- 
ward through the tall dry weeds. 

Governor Stewart put a $3000 reward on Brown's head, but no one ar- 
rested him. There had been trouble recently in the river towns with slave 
catchers suspected of kidnapping free Negroes to sell back into slavery. 
Leavenworth had effervesced with indignation when some white men 
were caught trying to abduct a Negro barber, Charles Fisher — threaten- 
ing him, through the transom above his door, to come out quietly and sub- 
mit or be shot down. An infuriated mob surged through the streets. Inno- 
cent proslavery residents barricaded themselves in a public building, and 
Democrats in outlying settlements oiled their guns for defensive war. 
Free-state men held a gigantic rally with Mark Delahay, Lincoln's kins- 
man, presiding. Dan Anthony spoke as his Quaker father and reforming 
sister would have approved. Fearlessly he announced that he had "always 
held it to be his duty to say whatever his conscience told him was right and 
in all places and at all times." Then he unscabbed all the old sores Kansans 
had suffered from Missourians, from the illegal voting and the murder of 
R. P. Brown by the Kickapoo Rangers to the recent Marais des Cygnes 
Massacre. He added that he had been shot at several times for merely dar- 
ing to express his opinions. 


A week later Lane was cheered to the echo when he stated at a gigantic 
reception: "If you must choose between kidnapping a man into slavery 
or kidnapping him into freedom, in God's name kidnap him into 

One thing was very certain. Few, if any, individuals in Kansas were go- 
ing to lift a saddle to arrest Old Brown and his party. A fifteen-man posse 
deputized by the United States marshal in Atchison rode out after him 
and came back with nothing but a report that Brown had a bodyguard 
of sixty sharpshooters. Several bands of infuriated Missourians crossed on 
ferries to scour the Kansas roads. They failed to find Brown, but one party 
of horsemen brought in an "underground railroad train" conducted by Dr. 
John Doy — the same who had come with Dan Anthony and the first 
emigrants sent by the New England company. The entire "train," includ- 
ing thirteen fugitive Negroes, were taken to Missouri without warrant, 
the blacks put back into slavery, the whites jailed for trial. There was little 
question about their guilt and probable conviction, but what right had 
Missourians to arrest Kansans on their own soil and take them back across 
the river for trial! Obviously the Kansas-Missouri feud was far from 
settled and would loom as big in the election of i860 as in 1856. With this 
in prospect, Republicans in Kansas decided to organize their party there. 
An attempt in 1858 had failed but the time seemed auspicious now. 

Osawatomie was selected for the convention, to be held May 18, 1859. 
The scene of Old Brown's early notoriety seemed suitable, surely, for emo- 
tionalizing the wrongs perpetrated by the Democrats in Kansas. Horace 
Greeley offered to take part in the convention as he traveled west for the 
New Yor\ Tribune to visit Pikes Peak, Salt Lake City, and the Pacific. 
Abraham Lincoln wrote Mark Delahay on May 14, 1859, that law practice 
kept him from attending, but he hoped the delegates would stand firm on 
the national party's platform against extending or nationalizing slavery. 

In Kansas most of the free-state men were still Democrats interested in 
land claims and political positions in the government which the Missouri 
machine had usurped. They had accepted support and sympathy from 
Eastern antislavery interests, but they were not abolitionists, and Horace 
Greeley's advanced doctrines might excite a convention of Kansans into 
hysteria. The political leaders assembling at Osawatomie wondered how 
they might keep the great editor from talking without offending him. 


As Horace Greeley traveled west, his talent for sensing news distracted 
him for a time from the political convention ahead. Upriver steamboats 
were crowded with prospectors eager to find gold and little concerned 
about slavery. They stopped in Kansas only long enough to purchase flour, 
bacon, and other supplies. The first telegraph from the East reached 
Leavenworth that year, and an overland stage had been established to the 
mountains. This wheeled luxury brought occasional trappers in buckskins 
and moccasins to stare and be stared at in the river towns. Bags of gold 
were unloaded for onlookers to "heft" and guess their weight and value. 
Horace Greeley momentarily forgot the part he was to play in the Repub- 
lican convention and jotted down notes about the magnitude of Russell, 
Majors and Waddell's overland transportation enterprise. He had seen 
big business in the mills of New England, and in the harbors of New 
York, but nothing like this. For Eastern readers he wrote : 

Such acres of wagons! Such pyramids of extra axletrees! Such herds 
of oxen! Such regiments of drivers and other employees! No one who 
does not see can realize how vast a business this is, nor how immense 
its outlay as well as income. I presume the great firm has at this hour two 
millions of dollars invested in stock, mainly oxen, mules, and wagons. 
(Last year they employed six thousand teamsters and worked 45,000 

Here were craftsmen of a new order, men in a great corporation, who 
took unusual individual pride in their humble jobs. Drivers of eight and 
ten ox yokes gloried in the symmetry of their animals and their matching 
colors — all black, all white, or all spotted. Boys on caparisoned horses car- 
ried messages to the wagon bosses. Young Bill Cody was so employed. 
These elaborate wagon trains rocked off across the horizon to a new world, 
while Greeley found himself in still a different universe when he arrived at 
the village of Osawatomie, where a thousand delegates crowded the lodg- 
ing-houses, and camped in the groves or beside their carriages. 

The politicians at Osawatomie met Horace Greeley cordially. The situa- 
tion was a delicate one. How could they tell the editor of the New Yor\ 
Tribune that these people were not so radical in their views about slavery 
as the Easterners who had been supporting them ? A sly ruse finally solved 
the dilemma. Greeley was treated to a grand parade in his honor with the 
marchers wearing Tribunes in their hats. He was requested to address an 


open-air meeting, and thus, having been given a major role, he was art- 
fully excluded from the policy-forming committees and the tedium of 
practical organization. 

Thus the radical and conservative free-state men united in the Republi- 
can Party after five years of squabbling over the best method of resisting 
Missouri usurpation. Robinson and Lane, the New England abolitionist 
and the Midwestern pragmatist, still eyed each other with familiar hatred. 
United in the same party now, they could be counted on in every crisis 
to pull in opposite directions. Then in July the distressing news came to 
Kansas that John Doy and his accomplices had been sentenced to the peni- 
tentiary in Missouri. But before they were incarcerated, people were elec- 
trified to learn that a band of Kansans had crossed the river and liberated 
all of them. If Missourians could invade Kansas, why not Kansans invade 
Missouri ? 

At first, John Brown was credited with coming back from Canada for 
the daring rescue. Already he had become a fabulous figure, but this time 
other zealots planned and executed the raid. Proudly they posed for pho- 
tographs — guns, cutlasses, and all. Let abolitionists sing their praises and 
display their pictures in homes and offices! 

Mysterious Old Brown turned up in October 1859, not in Kansas but 
at Harpers Ferry, Virginia, where, with Kansas-trained followers, he tried 
to foment a Negro insurrection and was promptly surrounded by marines 
under Colonel Robert E. Lee and Lieutenant Jeb Stuart, now serving in 
Virginia. Struck down with bayonets and sabers, Old Brown was dragged 
to the office of the arsenal superintendent. Virginia's political leaders, Gov- 
ernor Wise and Atchison's former roommate, James Mason, hurried out 
to interview the prisoner, with newsmen recording every word. "Why did 
you do this?" "Who put up the money?" "Who sent you here?" came 
from a half dozen voices. Jeb Stuart recognized the wounded man as 
Osawatomie Brown and asked, "Did you go out to Kansas under the 
auspices of the Emigrant Aid Society?" 

"No, sir," the battered and bleeding zealot replied from the floor. "I 
went out under the auspices of John Brown and nobody else." 

Senator Mason looked down at the prostrate figure curiously. "How do 
you justify your acts?" he asked. 

"I think, my friend, you [slaveholders] are guilty of a great wrong 


against God and humanity — I say it without wishing to be offensive — 
and it would be perfectly right in anyone to interfere with you so far as 
to free those you willfully and wickedly hold in bondage. I do not say this 

"I understand that," Mason said. 

"I think I did right," Brown continued, "and that others will do right 
to interfere with you at any time and all times. I hold that the Golden 
Rule, 'do unto others as you would that others should do unto you,' ap- 
plies to all who would help others to gain their liberty." 

"But you don't believe in the Bible," youthful Jeb Stuart interposed. 

"Certainly I do." The stricken man looked with calm dignity at the 
bearded acolyte of religion and light horse. 

"The wages of sin are death," announced the stentorian youth in his 
soldier suit. 

Old Brown, lying on the threshold of immortality, kept his eyes on the 
upstart lieutenant who prided himself as being the personification of 
Virginia chivalry. "I would not have said that," Brown replied, "if you 
had been a prisoner and wounded in my hands." 

Governor Wise was counseled to commit John Brown to an asylum in- 
stead of hanging. Sufficient affidavits about the old man's past actions and 
family history warranted such action. But Governor Wise, after watching 
Brown intently, had to admit that the old man's wits were as sharp as his 
inquisitors'. Besides, a great cry for Brown's life arose from the South, and 
the weapons captured from his men were Sharps rifles — undoubtedly the 
ones sent by the Emigrant Aid Company to Kansas in spite of the old 
man's insistence on sole responsibility. Many Northern humanitarians — 
Eli Thayer, Gerritt Smith, and others — realized that they might be per- 
sonally implicated along with Brown. 

The Republican press deplored Brown's lawlessness, but Greeley's Trib- 
une adroitly channeled the event into his party's benefit. "Kansas deeds, 
Kansas experiences, Kansas discipline created John Brown," the readers 
were told. "Revenge rocked his cradle, disciplined his arm, and nerved his 
soul." The man to blame for the blood spilled by Brown, the account con- 
tinued, was Franklin Pierce, who had snarled the national fabric with his 

An immediate search was made for all John Brown accomplices not 


captured at Harpers Ferry. Gerritt Smith suffered temporary insanity. His 
wealth, great as it was, would not protect him from a charge of treason if 
the Democrats could get the evidence. In Kansas, Brown's earlier acquaint- 
ances were interrogated for clues and — most amusing — Milt McGee was 
arrested and imprisoned because, a known partisan, he happened to be on 
the railroad train near Harpers Ferry. Henry Clay Pate, having abandoned 
his newspaper to practice law in Westport, left for New York to lecture in 
Cooper Institute on his personal acquaintance with Brown and his experi- 
ences as a prisoner under him. The Louisville Journal scoffed: "We pre- 
sume the Democrats have secured the living ass to kick the abolitionists' 
dead lion." 

The lecture was a failure. Even New York was not prepared for a man 
who could modestly introduce himself by saying, "I'm the son of a b — 
you've heard so much about." In March, Pate was back in Missouri pre- 
paring to move. While there, he sold his Negro, invested in town lots, 
mortgaged them, and started East after arranging with the black boy to 
run away and join him. On April 21, i860, he wrote Colonel A. G. Boone, 
who had been commissioned by Buchanan to treat with the Cheyenne and 
Arapaho around Denver, "I am truly glad to hear that the brothers are 
kind in their feelings toward me, for really all the sin I have committed is 
in making debts I was unable to meet, but intend to pay." 

John Brown's raid embarrassed conservative Kansans, but Redpath and 
Lane extolled his heroism. Dr. Robinson testified against Brown's reputa- 
tion and his Kansas activities. Lane publicly called Robinson a perjurer. 
Admirers sent Redpath a sword, which the journalist accepted, announc- 
ing that other raids similar to Brown's were being prepared. Journalist 
Richard J. Hinton, James Montgomery, and several members of the Doy 
party plotted to release Brown's accomplices from jail. Dan Anthony con- 
tributed money for the enterprise. Charlie Lenhardt got a job as prison 
guard to aid an escape from the inside. Montgomery traveled East to 
Virginia, looked over the ground, and pronounced a rescue impossible. 
Planters in southern Missouri were sure that black-bearded Montgomery 
planned to strike next at them instead. Enterprising slave dealers hurried 
through the border counties, buying Negroes at bargain prices to be sold 
for a good profit down south. 

The legality of the death penalty for Brown's act could not be questioned 


but affidavits concerning his sanity continued to pour into the governor's 
office. Should or should not the old man be committed to an asylum, and 
his abolitionist supporters to ridicule? Governor Wise, hoping for har- 
mony as much as Buchanan ever did, decided to appease Southern de- 
mands for vengeance and thus unwittingly gave Ralph Waldo Emerson 
an opportunity to say that the scaffold might be glorious like the cross. 
Moderates everywhere saw the folly of the governor's decision, but Wise 
obeyed the letter of the law and stubbornly refused to reverse himself. 
The final decree excited a dirt farmer in Kansas, J. S. Reader, to stop 
cornhusking and scrawl in his diary: 

Old Brown 
John Brown 

Osawatomie Brown 
He'll trouble them more when his Coffin's nailed down! 


The Election of Abraham Lincoln 

Ihe spring and summer of i860 opened with a financial depression in 
Kansas. Leavenworth suffered especially from overexpansion. Many peo- 
ple closed their houses, packed their belongings, and returned East "to 
visit the wife's folks." More adventurous ones went West to the mines. 
In April the monotonous prospect was broken by the first Pony Express to 
California — a hazardous mail service started from St. Joseph by the giant 
firm of Russell, Majors and Waddell. Mr. Majors and other prominent in- 
dividuals spoke at the celebration to "see off" the first elaborately dressed 
rider. Mayor M. Jeff Thompson placed a specially prepared mailbag on a 
prancing race mare, and she cantered to the ferry amid appreciative ap- 
plause. On the boat, crossing the Missouri, the jockey changed to workday 
clothes for the ride ahead. 

Mayor Thompson was a lank and colorful Virginian with Yankee me- 
chanical ingenuity and a love of deadly weapons, which indicated that in 
case of civil war he might side with the picturesque Southern blades. Cer- 
tainly he would be more at home with Missouri Robin Hoods in their 
imaginary Sherwood Forest than with the transplanted Germans in south 
St. Louis who had become a power, in state politics, on the abolition or 
Kansas side of the national controversy. 

The Pony Express and complaints about the depression tinged Western 
discussions of the presidential election of i860. Hot, dry weather burned 
crops, adding to the enforced idleness and dissatisfaction. Several groups 
of unemployed Kansans tried to support themselves by appeals to New 
England philanthropists for guns and supplies to fight slaveholders — a 
standard routine which had been much too successful in past years. James 
Montgomery resorted to it again, asking now for money to establish a 
Republican newspaper. 


Across the border, Governor Stewart supplied guns for the Missourians 
to arm themselves as local militia. Kansans complained that the "pukes" 
were being armed by the state to invade Kansas, and they called on Mont- 
gomery again for protection. Thus Kansas and Missouri prepared for 
open war. A new man named Jennison had appeared in the free-state 
ranks. Swivel-eyed, a natty dresser, more a city slicker than a backwoods- 
man, he was nevertheless trusted by Montgomery. The two leaders or- 
ganized vigilante companies throughout southeast Kansas and claimed to 
be the core of the Republican Party there. 

The Republican national convention was scheduled to meet in Chicago 
in May. The Missouri Republicans, a minority residing in the eastern part 
of the state, favored admitting Kansas into the Union, and hoped to nom- 
inate Edward Bates of St. Louis for President. Frank Blair had organized 
the party in Missouri. He was a stern-faced man, fond of his dry joke. A 
drooping mustache and long goatee made him look the part of a Southern 
planter. He had been reared a Democrat. His father, old Frank Blair, had 
gained wealth and great national influence under Andy Jackson. Father 
and son knew instinctively all angles of the political game. 

St. Louis was considered to be the largest foreign city in the United 
States. German refugees from the unsuccessful revolutions of 1830 and 
1848 had immigrated there by thousands, attracted by the propaganda of 
Gottfried Duden. Frank Blair had cultivated a friendship with their 
spokesman, Henry Boernstein, a trained Austrian soldier, university 
graduate, playwright, and editor of a German newspaper, the powerful 
Anzeiger des Westens. Recent riots against foreigners, led by Ned Bunt- 
line for the Know-Nothing Party, had done much to unite the Germans 
in a solid voting bloc — important both in the election of i860 and more 
important in case war followed it. 

At the Chicago convention the Missouri delegates found themselves 
outmaneuvered. Lincoln won the nomination, but they came back to St. 
Louis with the prospect of two cabinet posts — one for Bates and the other 
for Blair's brother Montgomery, of Maryland. In case Lincoln was 
elected — which seemed likely — Kansas would certainly be in a top- 
drawer position, with the Western men holding the key. 

The Democrats split themselves in half by nominating two candidates, 
squatter sovereign Douglas and unconditional proslavery John C. Breckin- 


ridge. All candidates opened headquarters in St. Louis — Douglas in the 
Berthold mansion at Fifth and Pine streets. Frank Blair, knowing that the 
Republicans were a minority, organized companies of Wide-Awakes — 
young ward politicians who attended all meetings in military formation 
and saw to it that speakers were not interrupted. Many of the Germans, 
who had been Democrats since coming to America, joined the new party. 
Rich slaveowners who feared the Republicans as abolitionists and had 
found no protection for their property in Douglas's middle-of-the-road 
squatter sovereignty, would probably vote for Breckinridge. But the No- 
vember ballot amazed all pollsters. Lincoln proved a negative factor, win- 
ning but ten per cent of the Missouri vote. He carried only Gasconade 
County and St. Louis — Boernstein's Germans. In the Border Ruffian 
areas, his vote was practically nil, except in Kansas City where eighty bold 
Republicans formed in column of two's under Kersey Coates, the Pennsyl- 
vanian who had volunteered as bodyguard for Governor Reeder at the 
Shawnee Mission. Locking arms, the determined Republicans marched to 
the polls, demanded Lincoln ballots, and waited to see them deposited in 
the ballot box instead of the wastebasket. 

The only contest in Missouri was between Douglas and Bell — both pro- 
Union candidates who wanted to evade the slavery issue. Douglas won by 
the narrowest of margins — one tenth of one per cent. Obviously, the peo- 
ple were Unionists, and in case of war might be expected to fight against 
secession, but the two United States senators, James Green and Trusten 
Polk, were both proslavery. David Rice Atchison still maintained that he 
was out of politics. The new governor and lieutenant governor, Claibourne 
Jackson and Thomas C. Reynolds, were elected on the Douglas ticket and 
should oppose secession, but both men were anti-North by inheritance and 

Much-married Claib Jackson had invaded Kansas with his army of vot- 
ers, and now he would be the legitimate commander in chief of the Mis- 
souri militia. The lieutenant governor, a short, chubby chap of forty with 
dark eyes and refined features, claimed to have been born and reared in 
South Carolina, but his enemies said that he was a Jew from Prague. 
Highly educated in the classics, he read Latin, Greek, and Hebrew, spoke 
French, German, and Spanish fluently. He had served as ad interim charge 
d'affaires in Spain and preferred international to local politics. Yet he owed 


his present position to his skill in combining the Atchison proslavery 
forces against Thomas Hart Benton's St. Louis Germans. Moreover, Reyn- 
olds had seen enough of the gracious South Carolina atmosphere of black 
servants and gentlemanly leisure to admire it greatly. Several times he 
had acquitted himself with distinction on the field of honor. In a crisis, 
both Jackson and Reynolds might readily deliver Missouri to the Confed- 

After the election the Southern states began to secede. On the Western 
border Democratic politicians stirred up resentment with false statements 
which were believed by partisans. Lincoln was reported to have endorsed 
John Brown's raid. Boston millionaires were said to be financing Mont- 
gomery to hire horse and "nigger" thieves. Montgomery and his city 
slicker, Jennison, were reported to be operating a ring of "desperate jay- 
hawkers" engaged in regular robbing. Stolen mounts were recognized up 
•y/ in Iowa, and jocular people said that the pedigree of every good horse was 
"out of Missouri by Jennison." Witnesses claiming to be familiar with this 
traffic fled to Kansas City with stories about being driven out of the coun- 
try for knowing too much. As soon as Lincoln was inaugurated, they said, 
these outlaws would begin butchering all proslavery men. Wasn't ex- 
preacher Montgomery quoting the Bible, as Brown had done, to justify the 
killing of slaveholders ? 

Missourians appealed to their neighbors in Arkansas and to the civilized 
nations in Indian Territory to join with them in common defense against 
the freebooters. At Little Rock, newspaperman Albert Pike became elo- 
quent, as only he could, about aggression against Southern rights. Boston- 
born, Pike had been compelled by poverty to leave Harvard. Rumor said 
his first job, as a schoolteacher, had been terminated by an indictment for 
cruelty in beating a student. He had moved West, was now wealthy and 
respected, with an international literary reputation. Christopher North, 
editor of Blackwood's Magazine in Edinburgh, had commended his style, 
and Ned Buntline; when enlisting the nation's talent for a Western maga- 
zine, had got contributions from his pen. A versatile man, Pike had per- 
fected himself in the law, had recently won a $140,000 suit for the Creek 
Indians, and therefore had great influence with them. In case of war he 
might be able to guide the Five Nations on a new kind of warpath into 


The propaganda, the fears, the threats of invasion and murder received 
renewed impetus when Judge Williams abandoned his court at Fort Scott 
and fled to Missouri, complaining that he could not convict a horse or 
"nigger" thief while Montgomery's men were in the country. In the court's 
absence both factions administered their own kind of justice, hanging 
four men — two proslavery and two free-state. All settlers were intimi- 
dated by bands of night riders, who claimed to be free-state or proslavery 
according to the politics of any man who owned a good horse or a cup- 
board full of victuals. 

Governor Samuel Medary, who had succeeded Denver, drove down 
from Lecompton to investigate in person. Missouri's Governor Stewart, 
nearing the end of his administration, called out the militia, this time in 
force. Men went from St. Louis and Jefferson City, wearing state badges 
on their civilian clothes. They boarded trains and steamboats, off at last on 
a real campaign to learn the rudiments of war that might be their life for 
years to come. And all this, three months before Lincoln took office. 

On December 10, i860, as the militia columns converged in southwest 
Missouri, a party of Kansans raided the plantation of wealthy Morgan 
Walker, up in the central part of the state, seven miles from Independence. 
Walker owned two thousand acres of land, a hundred horses and mules, 
and thirty slaves. Shortly before the raid a stranger warned neighbors — 
in the absence of the owner — to be on guard, Montgomery was coming. 
The informer said that he would be a member of the gang but wanted to 
betray it because Montgomery had killed his brother. 

Walker's neighbors stationed themselves with loaded shotguns in a 
harness room and behind a loom at one end of Walker's porch. Soon after 
dark the robbers appeared as scheduled. Three leaders, including the in- 
former, walked across the porch and knocked at the door. Invited in, they 
warmed themselves at the fire and told their errand. They wanted the 
slaves, horses, and cash. Morgan Walker had just returned from Independ- 
ence. He asked if the slaves had been consulted. Told that they had, he 
meekly directed the robbers to their quarters. Two of the men then walked 
out on the porch. The informer remained, presumably to keep the people 
in the house under guard. As the two other men stepped off the porch, 
red flashes spit from behind the loom. Both fell — one dead, the other 
wounded. The latter called for help. A companion appeared from the dark 


and dragged him away. No one knew the number of raiders lurking in the 
gloom or dared venture out to investigate. 

The robbers, as frightened as the planters, fled with the wagon they had 
brought to transport the slaves. The wounded man and his lone compan- 
ion hid in the nearby woods for a day or two. Hunger added to their men- 
tal and physical suffering. A slave, hunting hogs, stumbled upon their 
camp and was promised his freedom if he would bring them food and 
horses. He agreed readily enough — yes, sah — and hurried away to report 
them to his master. The planters came with shotguns and killed them both. 

Newspapers cried to heaven about this last "Montgomery outrage," but 
the true leader turned out to be the informer, a border ne'er-do-well who 
had once taught school, but recently found bigger profits in dodging back 
and forth across the state line, stealing a horse or two on each trip. He 
posed as a free-state man in Kansas and a proslavery man in Missouri. In 
Lawrence he was known as Charles Hart,- a loafer around the ferry, 
wrestling, drinking, picking up a dollar now and then on a horse or foot 
race along the sand bars. At the ferry, where everyone stopped, an incon- 
spicuous loafer could easily estimate the value of a traveler's load and see 
how much money he put back in his jeans after paying the bill. Some 
unsolved holdups along the road may have been Charles Hart's work. As 
a gambler. he had followed wagon trains to Pikes Peak, playing cards 
around the campfires. His real name was not Hart but Quantrill, and for 
the Morgan Walker escapade he had enlisted a party of earnest Quakers — 
natural abolitionists — who had been deeply influenced by Pardee Butler's 
abolition sermons. Quantrill's reason for leading these innocents to their 
deaths remains conjectural. He knew that he could not continue his dual 
role indefinitely and seems to have sought a spectacular entry into the good 
graces of the slaveholding planters. Obviously much of the outlawry at- 
tributed to Montgomery may have been committed by others, but certainly 
not all of it. 

This was the condition on the Kansas-Missouri border as Lincoln cleared 
his Springfield office to go to Washington, and Governor Stewart arranged 
for his successor in Missouri. Frank Blair's brother Montgomery wrote the 
President-elect an invitation to stay in his Washington home prior to in- 
auguration. These Blairs planned close co-operation with the new adminis- 
tration, and Frank's one great interest was to make Missouri a free state. 


Jim Lane also hoped to "lay pipe" to the new Executive Mansion and 
offered to furnish Lincoln with a bodyguard of frontier Kansans to escort 
him 'from Springfield to Washington, Sharps rifles on their shoulders, 
bowie knives in their belts. Why not! Hadn't the wrongs done Bleeding 
Kansas been the big issue which elected him ? 

The picturesque display did not appeal to Lincoln. He preferred to have 
his little party accompanied by two venerable United States soldiers, Ma- 
jor David Hunter, with mustache dyed like his wig, and Colonel E. V. 
Sumner, the silver-haired Bull of the Woods, happy now to be done for- 
ever with the policing of free-state settlers. Neither would finish the trip 
with their charge. At Buffalo, New York, Hunter broke his collarbone in 
the crowd which pressed around the Rail Splitter. At Harrisburg, Pennsyl- 
vania, Sumner was left behind. Lincoln's managers had decided that the 
President-elect must proceed to Washington secretly and thus foil a re- 
ported plot for his assassination. Sumner objected. The Bull of the Woods 
would see his master through. No arguments convinced him otherwise. 
That evening, after a banquet at the Jones House, Lincoln walked out 
the front door and down the street with the dutiful old colonel respect- 
fully behind him. Someone tapped Sumner on the shoulder. He turned to 
see what was wanted and when next he looked ahead, Lincoln was gone. 
A telegram from Washington in the morning reported the President- 
elect's safe arrival. But this is ahead of the Kansas-Missouri story. 

On December 31, i860, Claibourne Jackson took the oath of office in 
Jefferson City, Missouri. Retiring Governor Stewart, in a farewell message, 
discussed the five years of undeclared war west of the Missouri and de- 
plored the fact that it was growing into a national conflict. Then Claib 
Jackson delivered his inaugural address before the assembly. A man in his 
middle fifties, with an extensive experience in state politics and diversified 
matrimony, he had been elected to lead the state through the approaching 
thunderheads. The legislature watched his erect and dignified figure, his 
deeply lined face and long hair. Lieutenant Governor Reynolds, peering 
through little gold-rim spectacles above his close-cropped beard, showed 
no sign of superiority or annoyance at the mispronunciations from his less 
educated chief. 

Jackson's message differed only by a shade from his predecessor's, yet 
that shade was significant. The incoming governor did not suggest seces- 


sion along with the other states dropping from the Union, but he did rec- 
ommend "standing by them" — whatever that meant. He also said that 
the North had already dissolved the Union by nullifying the Fugitive 
Slave Act, the old cliche which Henry Clay Pate and others had used in 
1856. Frankly, Jackson offered a working compromise — the general gov- 
ernment must agree to protect slavery as an institution. This, of course, 
was the core of the Civil War dispute and Jackson, the Douglas Democrat, 
had now taken the Southern Breckinridge radical side. Douglas had advo- 
cated the institution's protection by local laws only. 

Jackson's speech was received with prolonged applause, encouraging, 
surely, to an executive who might lead his state into the Confederacy. 
He promptly recommended a reorganization of the state militia and an 
election to a convention to consider secession. 

In St. Louis, Frank Blair watched these belligerent enactments and con- 
verted his political Wide-Awake boys into military companies with him- 
self colonel of a regiment. Secret drills were held in halls where the saw- 
dust muffled marching feet. From the East wealthy John M. Forbes, the 
railroad magnate who had helped finance the Hannibal and St. Joe, sent 
money for the purchase of arms. German gymnastic societies which had 
assumed semimilitary status in self-defense against Ned Buntline's anti- 
foreigner riots joined to form another regiment. Boernstein opened his 
opera house for their meetings and became colonel. A little redhead, Franz 
Sigel, entered eagerly into the warlike preparations. He taught mathemat- 
ics and history at the German-American Institute in St. Louis and was 
reputed to have commanded thirty thousand revolutionists in the recent 
European uprisings. The Flying Dutchman, as this feverish little man was 
called, soon rallied another regiment. Being interested in a beer hall, Ger- 
man recruits were reported as saying, "Py tarn! . . . Mit Sigel . . . you 
pays not'ing for your lager" — all aspersions, no doubt, for Sigel did not 
drink beer. To Americans this diminutive blond in gold spectacles and 
scraggly beard under which his jaw muscles worked nervously seemed in- 
significant, but the Germans evidently held him in high esteem. 

Southern sympathizers retaliated against these military preparations by 
organizing minutemen. They established headquarters in the Berthold 
mansion, Douglas's political headquarters, thus giving the appearance that 
the Union Democrats were behind him. 


On February 6, 1861, a weather-beaten little man in a captain's thread- 
bare uniform arrived in St. Louis from Fort Riley with his company of 
bronzed and stolid regulars. Nathaniel Lyon's deep-set blue eyes burned 
with hatred for Missouri Border Ruffians. His experience in Kansas had 
turned him from a supporter of Frank Pierce to a fanatic abolitionist. At 
long last he was to have an opportunity to strike for freedom. The slender, 
bony, red-bearded officer called at once on Frank Blair, listened to the 
plans for perfecting a citizens' military organization, offered to inspect the 
gymnastic companies and make suggestions for drill. Only two days ago 
the secessionist congress had met in Montgomery to organize a Confeder- 
acy. Lyon realized that the United States arsenal, on the river in south St. 
Louis, held sufficient munitions to control the state, should Governor Jack- 
son get his hands on it. The little captain suggested that its brick walls be 
fortified against mob attack, but his immediate superior, Major Peter V. 
Hagner, objected. 

Lyon suspected disloyalty but could do nothing except tell Blair, who 
had neither authority nor influence prior to Lincoln's inauguration. In the 
meantime, as a practical politician, Blair exerted every effort to help elect 
pro-Union members to the convention which was to consider secession. He 
knew that the last election showed a large majority of Missourians to be 
Douglas Democrats — Unionists with or without slavery — and not Re- 
publicans. His problem was to win as many as possible from this middle 
group. Claib Jackson, of course, with all the power of the state government 
behind him, hoped also to win a majority of these same people. David Rice 
Atchison, despite earlier declarations, re-entered politics as elder states- 
man, to help the pro-Southerners. 

A spirited campaign between Blair and Jackson followed, but when the 
ballots were counted, both were disappointed. As in the November elec- 
tion, a large majority of the constitutional delegates — seventy-one per cent 
to be exact — came in on the Union ticket, only nineteen per cent for 
secession. Sterling Price was elected presiding officer. M. Jeff Thompson 
failed to become secretary — too many strong Union men against him, he 
complained, as his steamboat chugged back to St. Joe. His irrepressible, 
beaming countenance still glowed with hope, however, for a second glori- 
ous revolution like the one in 1776. 

On March 4, 1861, Lincoln took the oath of office in Washington, and on 


the same day a Confederate flag was raised over the Berthold mansion in 
St. Louis — futile arrogance, for the convention seated in the Mercantile 
Library Hall voted against secession, although it agreed to reconvene at 
Jefferson City on July 22, 1861. Until then Missouri seemed safe in the 
Union, unless Governor Jackson dared precipitate some aggression. 

In the meantime, Kansas had entered the Union as a free state. Presi- 
dent Buchanan signed the admission bill on January 29, 1861, admitting 
tardily that the trend he had fought was inevitable. 

Jim Lane's ambition had always been to sit in the United States Senate. 
His chance had come at last! The first legislature would elect the first 
senators, and Lane hurried back from an Eastern speaking tour to cam- 
paign for men who would promise to support him. The Grim Chieftain 
had associated in one way or another in all the vicarious Kansas govern- 
ments — the Pawnee legislature, the Big Springs convention, the Topeka 
Movement, which had elicited his duel challenge to Douglas. His name 
was the best known in all Kansas, but he had no money for his cam- 
paign — a usual condition — and, what was worse, he had many influen- 
tial enemies. Redpath had once agreed to write a campaign biography of 
him but was estranged by the Grim Chieftain's attempt to seduce his wife. 
The Robinson faction also combined against Lane, as did friends of the 
lamented Gaius Jenkins. On the other hand, Dan Anthony, in Leaven- 
worth, promised to support his candidacy. 

Lane financed his campaign by defending petty criminal cases and by 
borrowing odd sums from acquaintances. He had a cunning way of open- 
ing men's purses. One bitter cold day in Lawrence he was stopped on 
Massachusetts Street by a creditor seeking payment. Lane, shivering in his 
shabby sealskin coat, made excuses. His little son ran up, barefoot, and 
stood with one foot pressed for warmth against the calf of the other leg. 
"Mr. Garvey," Lane said, with a sidelong glance at the urchin, "do you 
suppose that, if I had two dollars in the world, I would pay you before I 
bought that boy a pair of shoes?" 

Garvey pulled of? his glove, reached a shivering hand into his pocket, 
and handed Lane additional cash. The Grim Chieftain was a genius 

With twenty borrowed dollars, Lane opened political headquarters in 
Topeka. Enemies tried to have him evicted for nonpayment of rent. Lane 


taunted them. He would "move into a store box on the avenue," he said 
with his tragic voice, "and get ahead of the hounds" — a happy reference. 
The mob enjoyed allusions to "propertied dogs." Later, when the only 
paper supporting him in Lawrence threatened to shut up shop unless 
money could be raised to pay the printers, Lane walked thirty-five miles 
to Leavenworth, through a blizzard, and aroused Delahay at midnight 
with a scheme for raising $500 — and got it. 

Through all this, Lane blasted viciously at political opponents, accusing 
them of corruption, and secretly promising lucrative posts to his own sup- 
porters. Robinson was a candidate for governor. Lane reminded voters 
that the Robinson faction had collected "war damages" in newly author- 
ized state bonds, some $97,000 in all, including $24,000 for Robinson per- 
sonally, and $10,000 for the widow of Gaius Jenkins. In a speech at Leaven- 
worth, Lane sneered : 

I have said that name [Robinson] should not profane my lips or dis- 
grace my pen. I regard him as the Benedict Arnold of his age, and pray 
God that he may feel the just indignation of an outraged people; but 
if the resurrection horn should reach the dark abyss of crime into which 
he has plunged himself, may he not rise with perjury on his lips or Kan- 
sas bonds in his pockets. 

Aiming next at Stephen A. Douglas, Lane reminded voters that the 
Little Giant had refused to accept his challenge on account of their dif- 
ference in station. "You owe it to yourselves and to me," he shouted now, 
"to put me where I can make him fish up that paper." 

Dr. Robinson won the governorship, but Lane counted enough of his 
men in the legislature to elect him to the Senate. Full of hope but taking 
no chances, Lane reminded them all of their obligation to him for cam- 
paign services. Day and night he strode up and down the streets, button- 
holing solons on the way to the assembly hall, in the vestibule, in dining 
rooms, washrooms, bedrooms, exacting from each a pledge and a repledge 
of support. Some assemblymen fled to the hazel thickets along the Kaw 
for privacy. Others crept into haylofts for a night's rest, but Lane found 
their hiding places. 

His persistence paid and in April 1861, James Henry Lane was elected 
to the United States Senate, boasting later that of the fifty-six legislators 
who supported him forty-five wore shoulder straps — "Doesn't Jim Lane 


look out for his friends?" Bankrupt but triumphant, the Grim Chieftain 
laid aside his calfskin vest and sealskin coat so familiar to Kansas audi- 
ences, boarded up the small slab-sided cabin on the bare lot he called home, 
and borrowing money for a broadcloth suit, set off for Washington. Lin- 
coln had been President for approximately six weeks when the Grim 
Chieftain arrived with his coterie of fellow politicians and newsmen. War 
clouds frowned blackly over Virginia. Rebels were reported concentrating 
to take the Federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry, and also the navy yard at 
Gosport. Washington seethed with hysterical rumors — the White House 
to be burned, the President assassinated! Senator Lane sprang heroically 
into the breach. He organized his followers and other Kansans in Wash- 
ington into what he called the Frontier Guard. Armed with Sharps rifles 
and cutlasses, they marched to the Executive Mansion and bivouacked in 
the East Room, Lane with a brand-new sword given him by Colonel 
Hunter, who was still suffering from his broken collarbone. At midnight 
on April 18, 1861, the President and Secretary of War appeared in the 
door. The guard lined up for review. Dan Anthony, Thomas Ewing, Jr., 
Samuel Pomeroy, and }. A. Cody stood with others in the ranks. Captain 
Jim Lane, with a dramatic scowl on his face, stalked before the detach- 
ment. If we must have war, let men from the Western border start it here! 

X I 

Lyon Shows Missouri 

After Lincoln's inauguration Captain Lyon's authority increased per- 
ceptibly, thanks to grim Frank Blair. An effort to sidetrack the redheaded 
regular on court-martial duty in Leavenworth was scotched. Then in mid- 
April news of the firing on Fort Sumter set St. Louis trembling on the 
verge of madness. Pro-Union and secession factions unmasked. Plots, 
counterplots, treason, hysteria shook the streets, the levees, and the spring 
leaves unfolding in the parks. Lincoln called on the states for seventy-five 
thousand volunteers, and Governor Jackson replied that Missouri would 
not furnish a single man "to subjugate her sister states of the South." The 
governor appealed to Missourians to "rise then, and drive out ignomini- 
ously the invaders who have dared desecrate the soil which your labors 
have made fruitful, and which is consecrated by your homes." He im- 
mediately ordered a special session of the legislature, and mobilized the 
militia. Envoys were dispatched to Jeff Davis for artillery to enable the 
people to capture the St. Louis arsenal. 

The German regiments, already partly trained, ignored Jackson's de- 
fiance and offered to fill Lincoln's quota. Before a reply was received, the 
distressing news came downriver that the United States arsenal at Liberty, 
across from Kansas City, had been taken by a mob. M. Jeff Thompson was 
organizing a battalion of rebels at St. Joseph. Ex-Senator Green's brother 
was equipping a regiment north of the Missouri, and a dozen other bands 
of partisans were drilling. 

The only safeguard to Federal authority in Missouri was now the St. 
Louis arsenal. The department commander, aristocratic General Harney, 
intimate with the weathy slave owners, seemed as reluctant as Major 
Hagner had been to fortify it and defend national prestige. Captain Lyon, 


with no authority to act, consulted Blair. Something must be done. A bril- 
liant West Point lieutenant, John M. Schofield, was in town on leave of 
absence to teach at Washington University. He knew army drill and paper 
work. Why not commission him to enlist volunteers ? Blair agreed and the 
young man started working, but General Harney refused to arm the re- 
cruits from government stores. Was the department commander plotting 
treason ? 

Frank Blair stroked his sandy mustache. Delay would lose the arsenal 
and, with it, the state. He prepared a telegram explaining the emergency 
to the War Department. Then, to evade military censorship of the wires, 
he sent the message from a station across the Mississippi in Illinois, ad- 
dressed to the governor of Pennsylvania. Shortly thereafter, Harney left 
for Washington to confer with the authorities. Lyon and Blair were now 

Lyon immediately shipped all excess arms in' the arsenal to safety in 
Illinois, and accepted into United States service the volunteer regiments 
under Colonels Blair, Boernstein, and Sigel. He urged others to be formed. 

On May 2, 1861, the special session of the Missouri legislature convened 
at Jefferson City. Next day the proslavery militia mustered at Lindell Grove 
in St. Louis. General D. M. Frost, who had commanded the state troops 
on the Missouri border last winter, was in charge. He was a West Pointer, 
having graduated three years after Nathaniel Lyon. Like Lyon, he had 
ranked near the top of his class, but he had not remained in the service. 
Instead he had resigned to go into active politics and had served as state 
senator in Missouri. His sympathies, like Claib Jackson's, were for the 
South, and he named the militia encampment Camp Jackson. The regi- 
mental streets were given the names of prominent Confederates — "Davis 
Avenue," "Beauregard Street," and so on. 

The surplus arms had been shipped from the arsenal, but Lyon feared 
the state's military display. He called a council with his volunteer officers 
on May 7, 1861. Carefully closing the door to prevent eavesdropping, Lyon 
walked nervously up and down the floor. "We must take Camp Jackson," 
he said, "and we must take it at once." Contradictory orders might come 
back with Harney any moment now. 

Tradition says that Lyon drove next day to the rebel camp, heavily 
veiled and in a woman's dress, a pistol under a basket of eggs ostensibly 


for sale — unlikely surely, for Lyon's spies knew all that was necessary 
about Lindell Grove, and his rough red beard could not be disguised by 
any veil. The night of May 8, 1861, a ship docked at St. Louis with heavy 
boxes marked "marble" which turned out to be mortars and siege guns 
from Jeff Davis. If there had been any question about Frost's intentions, 
there could be none now. But still he pleaded innocence and sent a mes- 
senger to Lyon on the morning of May 10, 1861, asking for an explanation 
of rumors that his militia were to be attacked by United States troops. 

Before reaching the arsenal, the courier met Lyon riding at the head of 
his brigade toward Camp Jackson. Streets, doorways, windows, housetops 
were black with people watching the four regiments of pasty-faced volun- 
teers who marched well under their German officers. A battalion of 
bronzed regulars trudged behind Colonel T. W. Sweeney, grizzled Mexi- 
can War veteran with an empty sleeve pinned in the opening of his coat. 

The regiments deployed in battle line around Lindell Grove. Then Lyon 
handed his reply to the courier and watched him canter off among the 
tents. A crowd of civilians gathered behind Lyon's soldiers, among them 
William Tecumseh Sherman, who, after dabbling unsuccessfully with the 
legal profession in his brother-in-law's Leavenworth office, was now presi- 
dent of a street railway in St. Louis. Also in the crowd stood Ulysses S. 
Grant, mustering officer for the governor of Illinois, on vacation for a few 
days' rest from his duties in Belleville. 

As the crowd waited for a reply from Lyon's note, they heard three 
cheers among the tents. One-armed Sweeney thought this meant fight, and 
he ordered his battalion to move their cartridge boxes to the front of their 
belts. A few minutes later the courier appeared. Lyon took the message 
and read it. General Frost begged time to consider. Lyon flattened 
the message on the pommel of his saddle and scribbled a reply. The 
general must surrender in ten minutes or the Federal troops would 
open fire. 

The courier galloped away and soon returned. "Sweeney," Lyon said, 
reading the second note, "they surrender." 

Rough little Lyon swung to the ground from his horse and was im- 
mediately kicked in the stomach by an aide's mount. Writhing on the 
ground, Lyon ordered the details of the capitulation. Acute pain could 
not divert the furious intensity of this commander's mind. Colonel Sigel 


was also hors de combat. His horse had slipped and fallen on the paved 
street, hurting the German's leg. A doctor ran forward with a bandage and 
Sigel soon joined his regiment in a carriage. The disability of the two 
commanders caused some delay. Blair formed his regiment in single files 
on opposite sides of the street. The disarmed prisoners — a thousand of 
them — marched in between, and the long column started for the arsenal. 
A mob stood along the sidewalks shouting, "Damn the Dutch" and "Hur- 
ray for Jeff Davis." Clods and stones pelted the soldiers. A drunken man 
tried to push through the file to the captives. A file closer shoved him back, 
down an embankment. The man turned and fired a pistol, wounding an 
officer. Boernstein ordered his men to return the fire. Redcoats had done 
the same in Boston Common and a Revolution followed! 

Disturbances occurred at other places on the line of march with sporadic 
shooting. Sherman admitted, in his memoirs, running for his life to 
escape flying bullets. In all, twenty-eight people were killed, one a babe in 
arms, and many more were wounded. Fifteen were shot down in one 
place. The column passed along Olive Street amid the banging of shutters. 
At the arsenal the prisoners were packed into cramped quarters for the 
night, but assured that they would be properly paroled in the morning. 

Through the midnight streets a Soaring mob shouted, "To the Demo- 
crat office" (the Republican paper) and "Down with the Anzeiger des 
Westens" — a cry the antiforeign American Party under Ned Buntline 
had used against these same Germans in 1852. The mayor ordered all 
saloons closed. Ex-Governor Sterling Price addressed a crowd in front of 
the Planters House, vehemently arraigning the "military despotism." In 
the morning he boarded a train for Jefferson City, where he found the 
legislature in a furor of excitement. 

Sitting in special session, they had been notified about the capture of 
Camp Jackson. Wildly indignant, they passed a special military bill, gave 
the governor dictatorial power, appropriated ten thousand dollars to en- 
courage Indians in the territory to retaliate against Kansans. One million 
dollars was authorized to be borrowed from banks and another million to 
be raised by bonds for a state army. Truculent members returned from 
recesses with guns and bowie knives, leaning them against their desks and 
along the assembly chamber walls. Rumors said that Blair was bringing 
his Germans up the river to take the capitol. In near panic Governor Jack- 


son commissioned Sterling Price a major general to organize the militia 
and defend the state government. 

Other towns were agog with excitement. At St. Joseph, M. Jeff Thomp- 
son's long legs leaped into action. He commandeered a train of wagons to 
haul all the powder and lead in town back into the country, lest soldiers 
from Leavenworth come to confiscate it. He dispatched a half dozen Paul 
Reveres across the rolling hills, summoning patriots from their farms and 
shops to bring rifles, shotguns, and pistols. Men came on foot and on 
horseback, but once at the rendezvous there was no enemy to fight and no 
quartermaster to feed them. Jeff Thompson could get no authority from 
the governor to purchase supplies, and the hungry patriots trudged home 
disgusted. Thompson boarded a steamboat for Jefferson City. 

At the capital he found panic, confusion, no leadership. He asked for an 
interview with the governor and was escorted into the Executive Office. 
Jeff Thompson was habitually a smiling man, but today he looked grimly 
down at the governor's deeply lined, smooth-shaven face, the silky hair 
curling over his ears. Jeff explained the emergency in St. Joe, stating that 
he could cope with it if given help. Claib Jackson replied affably but 
seemed undecided what to do. Thompson lost patience. "Governor," he 
said, "before I leave, I wish to tell you the two qualities of a soldier; one 
TIe~musT have, but he needs both : one of them is Common Sense and the 
other is Courage — and By God! You have neither." 

Jeff Thompson executed an about-face and marched out. He would go 
south and offer his services where his ability was recognized and come 
back triumphantly to save his Missouri. 

General Harney arrived in St. Louis the day after the capture of Camp 
Jackson. He was much upset by his subordinate's aggressive action during 
his absence. The wealthy friends of his socially prominent wife suggested 
that the situation might be partially alleviated by ordering the German 
regiments out of the city. American-born citizens, he was told, resented be- 
ing ruled by foreigners. Hundreds of young men from the best families 
were riding south to join the Confederacy or west to join Jackson and 
Price, hoping that one army or the other would expel "the Dutch." 

Blair disapproved of any appeasement, and he feared that the advan- 
tage he and Lyon had gained for the Federal government might be lost. 
He hurried a delegation to Washington to explain his side of the situation 


to Lincoln. Harney's conservative friends sent another delegation to ex- 
plain their position. The harassed President, with frantic men pounding 
hourly on his office door, would have to decide what to do in Missouri. He 
wanted peace and he wanted to hold Missouri in the Union. The Blairs 
knew the situation and ranked high in the administration. 

Both parties returned without a decision, but on May 20, 1861, a mes- 
senger rang Blair's doorbell in St. Louis and delivered a communication 
from Lincoln. Blair broke the seals and read the letter. It included an order 
relieving Harney of the command of the Department of the West and a 
commission for Lyon as brigadier general. The President asked Blair to 
keep the papers in confidence and use them at his discretion. 

Next day, May 21, 1861, General Harney announced that he had con- 
cluded a truce with Governor Jackson — the Federal government making 
a treaty with a sovereign state! By this agreement the governor promised 
not to invoke the state's military act, and Harney agreed to recognize Mis- 
souri's neutrality and use his army to enforce state laws. Blair's next action 
will always be open to argument. Some have maintained that the truce and 
due recognition of the state's neutrality would have kept Missouri in the 
Union and prevented the next four years of guerrilla warfare. Blair him- 
self considered the election of Lincoln a popular repudiation of state rights. 
To his mind the time had come to assert the dominance of the central 
government — especially since his party sat in the driver's seat. On May 
30, 1 861, as Harney began moving the German regiments out of St. Louis, 
Blair sent him Lincoln's order of removal from command. 

Governor Jackson saw the shadow of the Federal whip and knew that 
he would be eclipsed unless he could outwit the new commander. He 
asked for a conference at once. Brigadier General Lyon set the time and 
the place: June 11, 1861, at the Planters House in St. Louis. Governor Jack- 
son came with his secretary, Thomas Snead, and his major general, Ster- 
ling Price. Frank Blair attended the council to explain his party's position. 
The men sat down and Blair monopolized the conversation, his tired, 
whining, falsetto voice repeating every plank in the Republican Party plat- 
form. Jackson and Price both presented their pleas for neutrality, promis- 
ing peace and loyalty if Missouri would be allowed state sovereignty. Lyon, 
who had been a Democrat until Frank Pierce truckled to the slave power, 
fidgeted in his seat. A soldier versed in science and philosophy, he had 


continually made his messmates uncomfortable with his outspoken opin- 
ions. As the conference dragged on hour after hour, he became tense and 
nervous. Finally he could stand it no longer. Now, if ever, was the time to 
snap state rights across his knee. The little redhead leaned back in his 
chair, and his Connecticut voice struck like the gong of a grandfather's 
clock, calm, timeless, and cold as death. 

"Rather than concede to the State of Missouri," he boomed, "for one 
single instant the right to dictate to my Government in any manner how- 
ever unimportant, I will see you" — he rose from his chair, spurs clinking, 
and pointed his freckled ftnger at Governor Jackson's breast — "and you" 
— he touched the bosom of General Price — "and you" — he prodded sol- 
emn Blair — "and you" — he poked Secretary Snead, who had been watch- 
ing him as an enemy and now thrilled at the man's pluck — "and every 
man, woman, and child in the State, dead and buried." Lyon turned form- 
ally to the governor. "This means war," he said, taking out his watch with 
a sunburned hand. "In an hour one of my officers will call for you and con- 
duct you through my lines." The shaggy little commander turned on his 
small heels and marched down the hall. Snead listened with rapture until 
the clank of Lyon's saber became inaudible. What a soldier! Snead wished 
that the grim little man might be on the Southern side in the war ahead. 

Jackson, Price and Snead returned to Jefferson City, stopping only to 
"wood" the locomotive, cut telegraph wires, and burn bridges behind 
them. There was no doubt in their minds now about Lyon's intention to 
attack the capital. They arrived at two o'clock on the morning of June 12, 
1861, explained the emergency to House and Senate leaders and set clerks 
to packing state documents for a retreat. The governor locked his office 
door against intruders and, with Snead, toiled on a proclamation to be 
printed and distributed by daylight — a call for fifty thousand volunteers. 

In St. Louis, Lyon worked with his usual single-track intensity. First he 
wired Washington for authority to enlist more men, then he com- 
mandeered railroad cars and steamboats. He purchased the finest horse 
he could buy — a gray stallion imported from Britain — but ordered no 
general's uniform for himself. 

Lyon's plan of campaign was simple. One brigade of his army would 
move south by train to Rolla and march west to prevent Jackson from re- 
treating to Arkansas. The main army would move up the Missouri in 


steamboats and take Jefferson City. It was this second part of the plan 
which soon involved River Pilot Samuel Langhorne Clemens in the 
Civil War. 

Young Clemens had come to St. Louis to renew his pilot's license. Wait- 
ing in line before the clerk's desk, he noticed a pilot, named Absalom 
Grimes, arguing heatedly with the German in charge. The foreign official 
insisted on an oath of allegiance from all pilots. "I don't object to no oath," 
Absalom was saying, "my father and grandfather were Americans, but 
I'll be damned if I take the oath from a Dutchman who can hardly talk 
English." Grimes stormed out of the office. 

Sam Clemens and another pilot followed him. The three young men 
boarded a steamboat for Hannibal, Missouri, and on the wharf there a 
few days later a lieutenant and squad of soldiers took them into cus- 
tody and returned them to St. Louis. The commanding officer of the dis- 
trict informed them that General Lyon wanted pilots to move troopships 
up the river. The three men complained that they were Mississippi, not 
Missouri, River pilots. 

"You could follow another boat up the Missouri River if she had a Mis- 
souri pilot on her, could you not?" the officer asked. 

The men admitted that they could. Then, before more was said, two 
stylishly dressed ladies appeared at the door and requested to speak with 
the commander. The officer asked to be excused and stepped out to see 
them. The pilots looked at one another for a moment. Nodding with 
mutual agreement, they picked up their carpetbags and walked out the 
side door. Down on the levee they boarded a boat for Hannibal. Home 
once more, they strode promptly into the country to join a regiment of 
Ralls County Rangers, which they heard was organizing to defend their 
homes from the Dutch. At the encampment they were surprised to find 
only eight men in the regiment, each armed with a squirrel rifle, shotgun, 
or corn knife. Farmers fed them well, however, and lodged them in hay- 
lofts. The pilots allowed their beautiful locks to be snipped off with sheep- 
shears — mustn't give the enemy any advantage at close quarters, they 
were told. More boys soon joined their organization, and as they waited, 
loafing and playing, they learned that counties all the way across the state 
had similar "regiments." Next to them the Salt River Tigers were assem- 


Army life agreed with these youngsters. Every man furnished his own 
mount. Clemens rode a little yellow mule with long ears and a roached 
tail which she carried straight out behind — "Paint Brush" the boys called 
her. Sam cut a grand military figure on her back with a carpetbag, fry- 
ing pan, umbrella, and long squirrel rifle. Testy General Lyon and his 
two columns, one entraining for the southwest and the other going up 
the river to the capital, seemed far away. Distant campaigns did not 
disturb the rangers, but one day they learned that a third column, under 
Colonel U. S. Grant (assigned to active duty now), was marching into 
northeast Missouri to disperse them. 

Watching for the enemy, Sam Clemens, Ab Grimes, and another boy 
were posted as sentries where the lane from their cantonment barn joined 
the main road. At night they took turns, one standing guard, the other two 
sleeping fifty yards in the rear with the horses. During Ab Grimes's tour 
of duty he spied, in the moonlight, a rank of Federal soldiers coming over 
the ridge and down across the field opposite him. Ab fled to his com- 
rades and aroused them. The three agreed to let Sam remain and hold 
the horses while the other two returned to count and resist the enemy. 
Back on the road again, they saw the soldiers, plain enough, heads swing- 
ing in unison as they marched down the hill. Both sentries raised their 
guns, fired, then turned and ran. When they arrived at the spot where they 
had left Sam Clemens, he was gone, taking the horses. The two men raced 
up the lane after him. Paint Brush was slow and they soon overtook her, 
mounted their own horses, swore at Sam for deserting his comrades, and 
galloped on to camp, deaf to his imprecations not to leave him behind. 

The aroused rangers mustered before the barn, guns and knives in hand 
to repel the invader. Soon a rattle of stones could be heard along the road 
and every man raised his weapon to defend his native land. Then someone 
shouted, "Don't shoot," and Private Clemens bobbed out of the darkness 
on his jigging mule. By daylight no enemy had appeared, so a squad ven- 
tured down the lane to investigate. Ab stood at the place where he had 
fired the opening shot and, to his amazement, noticed that mullen stalks 
waving in the pasture across the road must have looked like marching 
soldiers in the dark. 

The next affray in this prelude to the war on the border was more seri- 
ous. Sam Clemens suffered a wound. The "regiment" had bivouacked in 


a hayloft and someone's pipe set the hay aflame. Sam Clemens jumped 
from the loft, spraining his ankle. This was not serious, but one of his 
comrades at arms forked the burning hay out the window. A blazing 
flake fell like a blanket on Sam Clemens as he crawled away on all fours. 

This hot engagement convinced Sam that he was unsuited for a military 
career. He dropped from the muster rolls, hiding for a few days at a plan- 
tation where a little Negro boy served as sentry down the lane on the "big 
road." Several times each day the little fellow raced to the house gasping 
breathlessly, "Miss Mary! The Yanks is comin'!" Sam would hobble into 
hiding and wait until he heard the reassuring treble, "Marse Sam, de 
Yanks is done gone!" 

Such adventures failed to hold Sam Clemens. As soon as his ankle re- 
covered, he joined his brother in Hannibal who had just been appointed 
territorial secretary of Nevada. The two young men set off, roughing it 
together on an overland stage trip to Carson City. In a lifetime of literary 
work as "Mark Twain," Clemens wrote little about his military service, 
and that little was most confusing. Absalom Grimes also dropped from 
the Ralls County Rangers. Craving excitement closer to the front, he de- 
termined to take an active, although subversive, part in the battles sure 
now to be fought on the Western border. 

X I I 

Jefferson City, Boonville, and the 
Happy Land of Canaan 

JLyon sent his column into the southwest under Captain Thomas W. 
Sweeney, regular army man. Then, with competent young John M. Scho- 
field as adjutant, he embarked with the main army on steamboats for 
Jefferson City. The latter force consisted of two regiments of St. Louis 
Germans recently organized as gymnastic societies and Wide-Awake polit- 
ical clubs. Many of them had been revolutionary soldiers abroad, and they 
had recently taken active part in capturing the Missouri militia and 
saving the arsenal. Naturalized citizens of the United States, they be- 
lived in democracy, resented the riots against them by native Americans, 
and intended to fight for their rights in the country of their adoption. 
One of these regiments was commanded by Frank Blair and the other 
by Henry Boernstein. 

In addition to these volunteers, Lyon had his own company of the Sec- 
ond Infantry veterans from Fort Riley. He also had two companies of 
recruits for the regular army — green, incorrigible boys — and a battery 
from the Second Artillery commanded by Captain James Totten, a class- 
mate at West Point with whom Lyon had little in common except military 
training. Totten's one recreation, after his men were dismissed, was to play 
poker with friends over a bottle of brandy. Lyon, when the day's work 
was over, sought solitude with a book or tract. 

The transports steamed away from the St. Louis levee on the afternoon 
of June 13, 1 861, entered the Missouri at dusk, and moored for the night. 
Two days later they arrived at Jefferson City, a town of twenty-seven 
hundred. The capitol stood empty on the hill. Governor, legislature, and 


archives had disappeared. The June weather was stifling hot and the 
volunteers bivouacked in the cool assembly chambers, stacking arms along 
the corridors. Travelers, floating downriver in a skiff, reported the "gov- 
ernment" to be fortifying for a siege at Boonville, fifty miles upstream. 

Lyon ordered Boernstein to select three companies of his regiment for 
police duty in the city. With the remaining forces — seventeen hundred — 
Lyon re-embarked on three steamboats and puffed away in the night. Four 
miles below Boonville the vessels anchored on June 17, 1861, near the south 
bank, at the foot of an island where they could not be shelled from the 
bluffs. The river bottom was a mile and a half wide. In the meadows the 
soldiers formed column and marched toward town. 

Close to Boonville the river bottom narrowed, and the road wound out 
across a low ridge. Near the summit a lane, leading to the river, crossed 
the road at right angles. A brick house stood at the intersection. In it and 
behind the fence along the lane, Claib Jackson decided to make his stand. 
Major General Price was bringing up the troops when news arrived stat- 
ing that the rebel militia mustering at Lexington would not be able to 
join in the defense as it was being threatened by a force of volunteers from 
Kansas. Sterling Price, prostrated by this dismaying news and a sudden 
attack of dysentery, turned his command to Colonel John Sappington 
Marmaduke, and left by boat for his home in Chariton County. 

Marmaduke was a nephew of Claib Jackson's. The Marmadukes and 
Sappingtons formed a political dynasty. John's father had been governor 
of Missouri. The German immigration and the throbbing population in 
Kansas had upset the equilibrium of those old families. Young Marma- 
duke had received the appointment to West Point to which his birth en- 
titled him. Now twenty-eight years old, he had served through the Utah 
Expedition with Albert Sidney Johnston in 1857 an< ^ resigned shortly 
thereafter. Marmaduke looked the beau ideal his name connoted. A hand- 
some six-footer with small hands and feet, he sat his horse with consum- 
mate grace. His eyes were kindly and intelligent, his mustache and beard 
soft. Fine hair was brushed smoothly down on his head and flared in a 
glorious ruffle around the back of his coat collar. Unmarried, he was the 
"catch" of the river towns. A peculiar squint in his eyes was due to near- 

Marmaduke urged Claib Jackson not to pit untrained soldiers against 


Lyon's regulars, but the governor insisted. With great misgivings the 
young commander deployed along the lane at right angles to the advanc- 
ing column. Lyon spied the thin line of men waiting for his column and 
deployed his troops parallel to them. From the brick house at the corners, 
sharpshooters opened fire. Totten, methodical as though at drill, un- 
limbered his artillery and placed shot after shot through the brick walls. 
The entire Missouri line gaped at this marksmanship, sensed their own 
inadequacy, clambered over the fence behind them, and scampered back 
across the soft fields of waving wheat. 

Officers swore, threatened, cried "shame." The men, soon winded by 
the uphill run, stopped on the crest. Feeling the confidence of green sol- 
diers on a hilltop, they re-formed into a firing line. Marmaduke knew the 
danger of standing outlined against the sky and ordered the line forward 
twenty steps. Here the Missourians stopped and opened fire. In the fields 
below them Blair's St. Louis volunteers and the regulars came forward 
with mechanical precision, puffs of white smoke blooming in the fields 
like cotton bolls. The Missouri volunteers felt helpless before the in- 
domitable advance and melted away. Within twenty minutes the action 
was over. Governor Jackson and his cabinet, on horseback, watched the 
men stream back to their tents. Here another feeble stand was made, 
until a howitzer on a steamboat enfiladed the encampment, scattering the 
defenders. Lyon's men swept in and ate the rebels' breakfasts. 

Vast supplies of shoes, blankets, coats, and carpetbags were captured 
and with them two Confederate flags. State neutrality indeed! There was 
no question about the allegiance of these troops. Newspaper correspond- 
ents appropriated twenty saddle horses, laughingly saying that none of 
the animals was large enough to carry giant Thomas Knox of the New 
YorJ^ Herald. 

The Missourians made a last stand at the fairgrounds. Then the Union 
column entered Boonville. The district judge, with a small party of leading 
citizens, stood in the street with a flag of truce. Lyon and Blair assured 
them that noncombatants would be respected. With this guarantee the 
delegation retired, and the soldiers marched smartly down the main 
street. Many American flags waved at them from the windows. 

Governor Jackson and his government had evidently fled south where 
the Union Army could not pursue in steamboats. With furious concentra- 



tion Lyon set quartermasters to work assembling wagons for an overland 
campaign. He also established a patrol of police boats between Kansas 
City and St. Louis to prevent independent companies like the Ralls County 
Rangers and the Salt River Tigers from ferrying south to reinforce Jack- 
son. Already Sweeney should have his division in southwest Missouri pre- 
pared to stop Jackson from escaping to the Confederate Army in Arkansas. 
Lyon had also wired Major Samuel Sturgis at Fort Leavenworth to march 
southeast into Missouri. Thus Jackson would be pinched from three sides 
and surrounded. 

Sturgis started with a battalion of trained, Indian-fighting cavalry, four 
cannon, and two regiments of Kansas volunteers totaling twenty-two 
y hundred men. In addition a regiment of Iowa volunteersHvas coming 
across Missouri from the Mississippi by rail to join Lyon at Boonville for 
the march south. Everything indicated that Jackson would be crushed 
quickly and the civil war terminated on the border. 

Then, three days after the occupation of Boonville, Lyon was informed 
that Missouri had been incorporated in the Department of Ohio, with 
George Brinton McClellan, an ex-railroad executive, in command. This 
meant that the campaign against Jackson might become a side show to 
the big Midwestern performance, and all Lyon's constructive achievements 
would be wiped out. Lyon went at once to lay his troubles before the 
politically powerful Colonel Blair. The two men sat down together on the 
Missouri River bank. Lyon, careless in dress always, wore a utilitarian 
linen duster over his striped military trousers. Blair, in civilian frock coat, 
had only a military cap to show his rank. They talked for an hour. Finally 
Blair decided to give up his commission and the opportunity for active 
service, go at once to Washington where his brother was Lincoln's Post- 
master General, and see what could be done to save Missouri. 
/ As Lyon and Blair talked, the Iowa regiment was ferried across from 
the north shore. Quartermasters assigned it a camping place, and the 
volunteers eyed the regulars curiously. Regulation uniforms — blue coats 
over blue-gray pantaloons — appeared efficient but not so elegant as the 
Iowa boys' fancy costumes. These small-town volunteers found the regu- 
lar soldiers uncongenial, mere mercenaries who might have marched with 
Caesar or Zenophon and had learned nothing since. The bustle of the great 
encampment, a city of tents, parks of wagons, picket lines of mules, fasci- 


nated the newcomers. As they explored the teeming levee, a steamboat 
swept around the upriver bend and backed to the mooring. She was loaded 
with buffalo hides and mountain men whose long greasy hair coiled on 
the shoulders of buckskin shirts. These wild fellows bounded ashore and 
stalked through the encampment. They had not known that the nation 
was at war. 

Through the encampment also hobbled veterans of the War of 1812, 
to chuckle with toothless grins about their own battle experiences, how 
they had outwitted officers and evaded onerous duties. The Iowa boys 
laughed at their stories and matched them with better ones of their own. 
They, too, considered military regulations outrageous and drill a waste 
of time. Company E had picked up a Negro cook who tagged along 
without formal papers. This was against regulations but what of it. Mason 
Johnson was his name, and to distinguish him from the noncoms, the boys ^ 
called him "Corpular Mace.'* Mace admitted being an escaped slave and 
also a veteran of the Mexican War, where he had served as body servant 
to Henry Clay's son, who was killed at Buena Vista. Old Mace said with 
a grin that "young massa's" body had been shipped home pickled in a 
barrel of whiskey. Thirsty sailors drank off the liquor three times, and 
the captain had to refill. OP Mace rubbed his woolly pate when he remem- 
bered how the rascals had tried to make him believe young Massa Clay 
drunk the whiskey his own self — yes, sah — and came outen the barrel 
nights hunting for mo. 

The volunteers didn't sleep well at first in their new surroundings. At 
midnight the mules all began to bray. Corporal Churubusco — he had an- 
other name but the boys preferred this — said that in the Mexican War 
men kept the mules quiet by tying down their tails with sacks of rocks. 
Private Jacob Grimes of the First Iowa tried this experiment and found 
himself in the guardhouse before morning. Regular army officers didn't 
seem to appreciate Iowa humor, and Lyon himself was reported to be "a 
terror for cats." When word came down the line, "Daddy is coming," sol- 
diers would be quiet as death. If a fellow didn't stand at attention, Lyon 
might dismount and kick him. Private Eugene Ware of Company E / 
noted Lyon as an eccentric man, an educated crank, a man who knew 
absolutely what he knew. His reddish, scraggly beard looked unkempt and 
unattractive. Something about his eyes made Ware think that they did not 


match. Military punishments irked all the volunteers. The sight of the 
crumpled figure of a man bucked and gagged on the parade ground made 
a few of them want to fight somebody closer than the Confederates. The 
Iowans did not like to admit it, but they knew this was the army. 

Everybody was excited on July 3, 1861, when the column started south 
after Claib Jackson. Would Sweeney be able to hold the refugees until 
the column arrived? Small boys trudged beside the soldiers with sticks 
and wooden swords. Their hats were marked US or SC, and they waged 
mimic battles as they ran. Pretty girls on sidesaddles galloped along, mak- 
ing their horses prance. At the van marched the First Missouri, Frank 
Blair's regiment, without its popular leader. Private Heustis of the Iowa 
volunteers called him the "bejesus colonel" and wished that the Iowans 
might have such a commander. 

Behind the First Missouri strode the Second, which had been ordered 
up from Jefferson City. Colonel Henry Boernstein sat his horse like a 
soldier, hummed opera tunes like the impresario that he was, and read 
dispatches through little hexagonal spectacles. His battalion commander, 
Major Peter J. Osterhaus, trumpeted commands in mixed German and 
English through a bristling beard and mustache which protruded from 
his face like a megaphone. 
* Following the Germans came the Iowa boys, each company in a differ- 
ent uniform, some in military tunics, some in frock coats, Company E in 
outlandish hunting shirts of fuzzy, azure-gray cloth made by the girls 
back home. To ornament them, fair hands had stitched on the front of each 
bosom a broad band of Venetian red, which Private Ware believed would 
make an excellent target. Black hats with brilliant red ribbon cockades — 
now faded or missing — completed the costume. 

Behind the First Iowa rumbled Totten 's battery, with postillions riding 
the six-horse limbers, one with all roan horses as alike as peas in a pod. 
Totten carried brandy in a wooden canteen and took a nip before drawl- 
ing impersonal commands in a Virginia accent which delighted the 
Iowans: "Forward that caisson, God damn you, sir," or, "Swing that piece 
in line, God damn you, sir." Bottle-nosed Totten, they called him. 

Behind the artillery marched Company B, Second United States Infan- 
try, Lyon's hard-bitten company of plains veterans, and behind them the 
two hundred recruits for the regular army — tough, incorrigible youths, 


many foreign, selected for physical stamina regardless of mentality, al- 
ready whipped into bestial automatons. Another company of regulars 
brought up the rear. In all, Lyon had twenty-three hundred and fifty men, 
of whom two hundred and fifty were trained soldiers. 

The roads had become quagmires after unusual summer rains. Price 
and Jackson were two weeks in advance now, and if they crossed the Osage 
River before it flooded from the continual downpour, their lead would be- 
come greater. Sweeney's brigade might be too small to hold them. Always 
worrying, Lyon pushed his men through the mud with threats of the 
lash — suitable language for regulars, perhaps, but insulting to the Iowa 
boys, who gritted their teeth and decided to show the regulars, and Lyon 
too, how to march. When their turn came to head the column, they 
promptly marched away from the entire army until General Lyon sent a 
horseman to stop them. Next day the general put them behind the Second 
Infantry — his old company. Undaunted, the Iowans trod on the regulars' . 
heels, punched into the rear at every halt, singing exultantly their favorite 
song, "The Happy Land of Canaan." 

This melody was popular with the First Iowa, who had adopted it one 
night when Private Ware had been jailed in a railway warehouse for talk- 
ing back to an officer. Among the stored baggage, Ware discovered kegs of 
Golden Grape Cognac and blackberry brandy. He sent word to his squad 
that a handy man with a brace and bit under the floor might find refresh- 
ments for the regiment. Before long he heard someone boring under the 
barrels. Then as the medium circulated through the encampment, com- 
pany after company broke into song. Soon Private Ware had many com- 
panions in the guardhouse. One prisoner, French Jo, began to sing "The 
Happy Land of Canaan." Fellow prisoners made the guardhouse ring with 
the chorus. Before morning the whole regiment learned both words and 
music. They had sung them with relish ever since. 

Lyon disliked seeing his company abused by volunteers. He had his own 
method of solving such disciplinary problems and decided to sweat the 
volunteers into submission. He halted the entire column, ordered the 
regulars to unsling their knapsacks, stack them by the roadside for the bag- 
gage wagons, and then march on. Let the First Iowa, carrying their \/ 
packs, stifle in the dust. The Iowa boys discovered this trick when they 
marched past the pyramids of duffel, and they cheered derisively. The 


temperature registered over a hundred, but they strode along determined 
to prove their mettle and tread on the regulars' heels at any cost — and 
they did so, singing at the top of their voices about the Happy Land of 

At Grand River, a branch of the Osage, Lyon's army met the column 
from Leavenworth. Major S. D. Sturgis and his adjutant, rough, outspoken 
Gordon Granger, sat their horses watching the new men with profes- 
sionals' appraising eyes. What kind of fodder were these volunteers? The 
volunteers, in turn, looked at Sturgis, a reputed veteran of plains Indian 
fighting, and saw that he was a man of medium height with black hair 
curled tight to his head and a bristly black beard. He had handsome fea- 
tures, eyes piercing but genial, and a firm mouth. Sturgis had been sta- 
tioned in Arkansas when the secession cyclone struck. All his officers re- 
signed — among them James Mcintosh, who was now second in command 
of the Confederates in Arkansas. With resourcefulness which gained him a 
promotion, Sturgis extracted the enlisted men and most of the government 
property from a threatening cloud of secessionist militiamen. The Iowa 
boys respected him for this, but no officer's frailties are hidden from the 
thousands of eyes constantly on watch. The rank and file divined almost 
at once that the major leaned constantly on Granger for technical advice. 
The two men had known each other since West Point days and Granger 
— lower in rank — was the older of the two. 

That night of July 7, 1861, the two columns encamped together. The 
Iowans evaded their guard to visit the newcomers. They found the regu- 
lars cut to the familiar pattern, but the two Kansas regiments were al- 
together different. Here were men from the tall-grass prairies with "issue" 
blue coats over civilian shirts and trousers. Unmilitary men, often in 
trouble for robbing henroosts, yet grim in their hatred of the slave power 
they had been fighting since 1854. They had seen their meetings spied 
upon. They had been stopped at night by patrols seeking fugitives. They 
had had their elections packed and their statute books defaced with laws 
abridging freedom of speech and the press. They were determined to 
crush the last vestige of a system which depended on such tactics for sur- 

Colonel of the First Kansas was George Washington Deitzler, from 
Illinois and California, the crusading abolitionist who had negotiated un- 


der Robinson for Sharps rifles to let the Kansans defend themselves. He 
had served as aide-de-camp in the Wakarusa War, as senator in the 
Topeka government, had languished four months as a prisoner in Le- 
compton, and was later elected mayor of Lawrence. He had organized the 
First Kansas and intended to see them give a good account of themselves. 
One of his captains was Samuel J. Crawford, originally from Indiana, 
recently a member of the Kansas legislature until he resigned to accept 
this commission. He was a fluent speaker and writer, prone to criticize his 
superiors and praise his inferiors — good politics surely — yet Crawford 
was a man of action, too. Also in Deitzler's regiment rode Captain Samuel 
Walker, the Ohioan whose "hip-disease" had not kept him out of Lane's 
Army of the North, the fight at Fort Saunders, or the siege of Lecompton. 
He had been scarred for life by buckshot at Fort Titus and looked for- 
ward to settling old scores and gaining further military advancement. 

The Second Kansas was commanded by Colonel Robert B. Mitchell, 
who had brought law books and hollyhock seeds from Ohio to a home- 
stead in Linn County, Kansas. He had dared oppose both Lane and Mont- 
gomery in politics and had been elected to the legislature in a contest with 
Charles Hambleton of Marais des Cygnes notoriety. One of the captains 
in his regiment was Samuel N. Wood, who had been prominent in Kansas 
fracases since the rescue of Branson. In the ranks stood Charlie Lenhardt, 
onetime printer on the Lawrence Herald of Freedom, the same who had 
splashed Sheriff Jones by shooting into the water barrel. Charlie had seen 
his employers' printing press destroyed. He had fought with the partisans 
at Hickory Point, and with Sam Walker at Lecompton. Like so many of 
his fellow Kansans he was a veteran long before the Civil War became 
national. These men remembered Claib Jackson when he was an ex-legis- 
lator leading his Missouri constituents into Lawrence to vote. They 
wanted to "ketch" him. For them this was a grudge fight. 

Twenty-five miles farther down the road from camp at Grand River 
the combined column halted before the swollen currents of the Osage. 
Jackson had crossed before the river rose, but he might be caught yet. The 
men set to work chopping trees, sawing planks for ferryboats. Couriers 
rode in from the south with a report that one of Sweeney's regiments 
commanded by Franz Sigel had checked the Missouri governor's army 
eighty miles below. Could Lyon's men get there in time to help? Lyon 


also learned that Blair had interceded with Lincoln in his behalf, and a 
new department had been created for Missouri with John Charles Fre- 
mont, the Pathfinder and presidential aspirant of 1856, in command. At 
last Lyon's furious energy might accomplish great things in the West. To 
rush aid to Sigel, he ordered all men to discard nonessentials. Let each 
company start as soon as it had crossed the river. Hold Claib Jackson and 
end the war on the border. If he escaped and joined the Confederate Mc- 
Culloch in Arkansas, the two might come back together, defeat Lyon's 
entire army, and retake the state. 

The Iowans tightened their belts, discarded their tents, mess kits, and 
extra clothes. Private Ware said they even discarded their pocket Bibles 
and kept only a few decks of playing cards. Away they went, tunics, frock 
coats, hunting shirts flapping. "What marching legs!" "Lord God, see 
them go!" Lyon pulled his beard until his teeth showed and exclaimed, 
'" [Watch] the damned Iowa greyhounds and their Happy Land of Ca- 
naan." This was as near a smile as any of the men ever saw on the gen- 
eral's bushy face. 

And they did go, surely enough, marching forty-eight miles in twenty- 
four hours. Men kept on their shoes for three days. Private Bill Heustis 
quipped to his marching fellows: "I wish I had stayed at home and sent 
my big brother." Shoe soles split, uniforms wore out, hats blew away, 
the bottoms of trousers grew beards, and a new song verse burgeoned and 
spread along the marching line : 

The time of retribution am a-coming, 

For with bayonet and shell 
We will give the rebels hell; 

And they'll never see the Happy Land of Canaan. 

Battle of Carthage 

I. he second brigade, which Lyon sent southwest to cut off Jackson's re- 
treat, consisted of five regiments on paper. Two of them were St. Louis 
German gymnastic societies, uniformed in gray. Colonel Charles E. Salo- 
mon commanded one and "Professor" Franz Sigel the other. American 
volunteers made fun of Sigel, called him "the little red fellow in spec- 
tacles," scoffed that he "kept looking around like a weasel" to see if 
others were listening when he talked. The expedition was commanded by 
Captain Thomas W. Sweeney, newly commissioned brigadier general of 
volunteers. Sweeney had emigrated from Ireland to fight in the Mexican 
War, lost an arm at Churubusco, but remained in the service. Although 
Sweeney was a regular army man, West Pointers looked on him with 
condescension, because he had risen from the ranks. He had quarreled 
bitterly with Major Samuel P. Heintzelman, when the two were stationed 
out at Fort Yuma in Arizona. Now Heintzelman was a brigadier general 
of volunteers in Virginia. Sweeney lacked the West Pointers' hauteur to- 
ward enlisted men. He even joked familiarly with them in his Irish 
brogue. Volunteers loved him for this and because he pinned his empty 
sleeve on his brass-buttoned breast in the Napoleonic fashion approved for 
military photographs, then, with his stub, twitched the sleeve comically. 
In addition to Sweeney's assignment to cut off Jackson's retreat, he was 
to hold the southwest Missouri lead mines, occupy the country, and dis- 
courage an incursion from Arkansas of the Confederates reported to be 
under colorfully dressed General Benjamin McCulloch, ex-Texas ranger 
famous for storming the Obispado in the Mexican War. McCulloch's sec- 
ond in command was James Mcintosh, United States officer who had 
resigned to fight for the Confederacy. 


Sweeney's brigade detrained at Rolla, end of the railroad, on June 14, 
1 861. A handsome courthouse and hillbilly shacks scattered through end- 
less oak brush made Rolla a town of contrasts. To Northern city soldiers 
the natives appeared lackadaisical, long, and limber. Many were bare- 
footed. Two Confederate flags had been left flying by a local company of 
home guards who had fled as the troop train steamed into town. Swee- 
ney's men hauled down the flags and started at once to Springfield, a hun- 
dred and twenty-five miles west on the wire road. The "wire" referred to 
the telegraph line from St. Louis to Fort Smith, terminus of the overland 
stage to California. 

Springfield was a hamlet of only three thousand inhabitants but im- 
portant as the center of a rich farming area. In the public square loose 
hogs stropped their razor backs on the Doric columns of the new court- 
house. The surrounding streets were lined by two-story buildings contain- 
ing a bank, two newspaper offices, various stores and taverns, some with 
wooden awnings covering the sidewalk out to a hitch rack. Side streets 
led to shake-roofed cottages in garden plots separated by worm fences. 

Sweeney established headquarters at Springfield and ordered Sigel and 
Salomon to reconnoiter to the southwest through Mount Vernon, Sarcoxie, 
and Neosho. Probing to the Arkansas line, Sigel learned about Lyon's 
battle at Boonville. He was told that the fugitive government and its 
volunteer army were fleeing south in his direction. Sterling Price, who 
had recovered miraculously from his dysentery, had already passed 
through, seeking aid from McCulloch, and was now encamped on Cow- 
skin Prairie near the junction of Arkansas, Missouri, and Indian Terri- 
tory. Price had left Lexington with a small guard, but hundreds of eager 
boys joined him on the southern march. Undoubtedly, he had communi- 
cated with the Confederates in Arkansas. 

Sigel learned that other columns were coming under direct command of 
State Senator James E. Rains, Governor Jackson, Lieutenant Governor 
Reynolds, and Ex-United States Senator David Rice Atchison, who in 
spite of many resolutions to quit politics, had decided to take an active 
part on the side of the Confederacy. Rains, like Price, was a veteran Mis- 
souri politician. Long a Democrat, he had recently become a Know-Noth- 
ing to oppose the influx of hated Germans. Recently he had sat as senator 
at Jefferson City. 


This impending multitude failed to intimidate Sigel. He wheeled his 
eleven hundred St. Louis Germans north to meet them. He would surely 
be outnumbered but hoped to hold the enemy host until Lyon could strike 
it in the rear. Obviously, the tables might be turned, and Sigel would be 
trapped between Claib Jackson and Price's men at Cowskin Prairie. Sigel 
decided to take this chance. Marching through Neosho — a pro-Union 
town — he was greeted by hilarious citizens waving from front porches 
and garden gates. Children, flourishing wooden swords, ran beside the 
soldiers, precisely as the children had done at Boonville. Flags fluttered 
from second-story windows. A delegation of citizens stopped Sigel for a 
conference, told him that they feared raids from the bushwackers or from 
the governor's column, and hoped that the German might leave a guard 
to protect them. Sigel detached ninety men for the job and sent a courier 
to Salomon at Mount Vernon to come, double-quick, with his four hun- 
dred. Another rider pounded up the dirt road to Springfield to appraise 
Sweeney of the situation. 

The July days were hot and very sultry, sweating beer from every pore 
of the German brigade. Water in the uncovered tin canteens became 
nauseatingly hot. The men's cartridge boxes lacked the usual tin racks for 
holding the paper tubes apart. Under the steady pounding of a forced 
march, the cartridge covers unwound and spilled the powder, but Sigel 
and his men kept going. On July Fourth, after a twenty-one mile march, 
they encamped a mile southeast of Carthage. The town was believed to 
be pro-Southern in sympathy. Commissary officers rode ahead to arrange 
for supplies and dashed back with exciting news. Governor Jackson's 
commissary officers had left the village a few hours ago. The refugee 
"army" was only ten miles north and might arrive in Carthage any time. 
Moreover, the enemy had four brigades — quadruple the number of 
Sweeney's whole army. Price, over on Cowskin Prairie, probably had as 
many more, and if McCulloch crossed from Arkansas, the enemy's su- 
periority would be overwhelming. 

A cautious commander might have retreated, but Sigel had served 
through a revolution and was accustomed to hazards. Moreover, his men 
had been carefully trained in St. Louis by the best rules of European war- 
fare, and he scorned the undisciplined American rabble. Salomon joined 
him, and the united forces shouldered arms to march through Carthage. 


The sudden appearance of the "damned Dutch" terrified the citizens, who 
deserted their houses to hide in cornfields and wood lots. Sigel placed 
guards at all the doors to prevent looting. His army passed at quickstep — 
a long gray centipede winding through the village, then out over the roll- 
ing prairie beyond, and through the timber fringing Bear Creek. On the 
other side they crossed the simmering flats, dropped down into the Spring 
Creek depression, then up and on again. The eager column marched away 
from its four-horse supply wagons, leaving them out of sight below the 
southern horizon. Finally, nine miles north of Carthage, the road dipped 
into a half-mile belt of trees skirting Coon Creek. On the prairie swell 
beyond, two miles away, the enemy army stood in a long line silhouetted 
against the pale summer sky. Sigel reined his horse and studied the field 
through his telescope, as his column swung down the gentle slope toward 
the woods. Horseflies made the saddle animals restless, and it was neces- 
sary to dismount in order to hold the glass steady. 

On the slope north of Coon Creek, Governor Claib Jackson watched the 
approaching Union Army from his carriage. He had feared Lyon in his 
rear but was unprepared for United States soldiers ahead. Marmaduke 
had resigned shortly after the skirmish at Boonville and had traveled 
East, like M. Jeff Thompson, to offer his services elsewhere. Without him 
Jackson had had a hard trip — holding together and feeding a partly 
trained rabble of over four thousand followers, including state officers, 
legislators, a long and elaborate wagon train loaded with furniture, official 
records, feather beds, pots and pans. Moreover, the governor had been 
suffering recently from a malignancy. Fortunately, he had been joined 
on the march by dashing Jo Shelby with a troop of horse trained by sev- 
eral Kansas expeditions. The wealthy young rope manufacturer from 
Waverly instilled rude discipline in the refugee army. 

Senator Rains had joined the governor's column, bringing three thou- 
sand unarmed volunteers. With him, also, came a three-gun battery under 
gaunt Hiram Bledsoe of the cadaverous face, listless figure, bright eyes, 
and engaging smile. Hi's hat was so big it rested on his ears, but he was a 
true-born Southern cavalier of the old school with a sweeping mustache 
and little goatee. He loved his guns like living things — especially the 
one he called "OP Sacramento." In outbursts of affection for the relic he 
would embrace and kiss the polished barrel. 


Many militiamen from Camp Jackson in St. Louis had also joined the 
column. They made light of their parole, claiming that the surrender was 
unjust and the parole therefore unbinding. On the march downstate a 
local regiment of Germans had been surprised while asleep in a barn. The 
Missourians killed them like sheep and took six hundred much needed 

Governor Jackson's first intimation that Sigel was in southwest Missouri 
had been brought to him by his commissary officers from Carthage. He 
immediately dispatched Shelby's troop of light-horse to locate the enemy. 
Then, with Senators Atchison and Rains, he selected a battlefield and 
formed the line where Sigel found him. Jackson knew as well as the Ger- 
mans did that Price and McCulloch might come up from the south and 
entrap Sigel. 

Jackson's army had no uniforms. Officers could be distinguished from 
the men only by bits of red flannel or a piece of cotton cloth stitched on 
the arm or shoulder of a homespun jacket or broadcloth frock coat. Jack- 
son parked his six-pounders down the slope ahead of his line with Old 
Sacramento between them. In the center he raised the flag of Missouri 
and on each flank flags of the Confederacy — a questionable presump- 
tion, for this was as yet exclusively a state army. The cavalry — a thousand 
of them unarmed — were placed at both ends of the nondescript line. 
Unarmed recruits took position in the rear. 

The assembled army watched Sigel's column marching toward them, 
sinuously undulating around obstacles which were invisible at this dis- 
tance. "Look, look," Missourians may have exclaimed, as the sun glinted 
on ranks of bayonets, "them Dutch have got lightning rods on their 

Jackson's artillery horses and oxen were ordered to the rear, harness 
chains jingling as they passed through the lines. Then solid shot was 
rammed down the cannons' mouths and the artillerymen waited. Already 
the enemy's advancing column had reached the far side of the timber and 
was disappearing like a gray snake slithering down a hole. 

Soon the van emerged from the woods twelve hundred yards away. On 
the open prairie, battalion after battalion deployed in column of compa- 
nies — a formation to forestall cavalry flanking. The Missouri line admired 
the precision of the oncoming enemy's movements but were well con- 


vinced now that, counting the unarmed men, they outnumbered the 
"Dutch" three or four to one. 

The gray-clad Germans crunched steadily forward across the coarse, 
dry grass. A command to halt rippled down the ranks and the formation 
stopped as though at drill. Sigel rode among the companies, reminding 
them of their battles in the old country and urging them to prove their 
mettle now. Then they all moved forward again. When seven hundred 
yards from the enemy, Sigel opened fire with grape and canister from his 
center and from both flanks. Jackson's six-pounders replied instantly. Both 
armies stood still, watching the artillery duel. 

Jackson's solid shot whizzed harmlessly over the heads of Sigel's men, 
while the Federal grape cut holes in the Missourians' line. Here and there 
an unmanageable horse reared against the sky or bolted from the field. 
Then the infantry began to shoot. Smoke billowed from both lines. The 
bombardment lasted half an hour. Old Sacramento was silenced and the 
center line behind it broken. Could it be that the Germans were defeating 
four times their number? Proudly Sigel turned his telescope toward the 
enemy's flanks, where he saw something that chilled his military blood. 
Enemy cavalry were streaming away toward the south from both flanks. 
Sigel remembered his lumbering wagon train three miles in the rear, and 
he realized that it could easily be cut off. A courier raced back with or- 
ders for the teamsters to form a column of eight's and lash ahead. Mean- 
while, Sigel drew back into the woods with the same precision that the 
Missourians had admired in his advance. 

As the Germans withdrew into the trees, Jackson's men rushed down 
the slope in pursuit. But, at the timber, they discovered that Sigel under- 
stood the use of artillery in retreat. His shells exploded where the road 
entered the woods, and as soon as his army had crossed Coon Creek, pro- 
jectiles churned the ford behind them. Finally, when the Missourians 
emerged on the south side, their advance was checked again by shells 
bursting along the road. In the open country beyond, Sigel placed his 
three batteries a thousand yards apart. Thus he could cover his retreat 
with two batteries protecting the removal of the hindmost. In this manner 
the German regiments crept back across Spring and Bear creeks, con- 
founding frontier enthusiasts with European military science. 

Late in the afternoon Sigel noted that the road ahead passed through a 


cut between two hills. Many of the enemy's cavalry — largely unarmed — 
stood above the road, evidently planning to pounce on the solid column 
as it trundled through with the heavy wagons. Here was a "sunken 
road" — a name notorious to all students of Napoleonic history. Sigel, the 
military tactician, decided to show the frontiersmen a new trick. He di- 
vided his column, each half marching forward obliquely. When the enemy 
was between his pincers, Sigel opened fire. To save themselves, the horse- 
men retreated down into the sunken road, out of range, and formed to 
charge Sigel's weakened center — a maneuver Sigel had anticipated. The 
ragged horsemen had hardly got in position when his German flankers 
gained the heights and began shooting down into the cut as Sigel swept it 
with well-aimed charges of grape fired along the road. Eighty-five rider- 
less horses raced out to be captured by footsore and near exhausted Union 
infantrymen who had been almost ready to drop by the roadside. 

At dusk Sigel's tightly knit regiments trooped through Carthage — still 
deserted. Behind him, Jackson's men swarmed across the meadows, firing 
from lanes and fences. Sigel wheeled east on the Mount Vernon road to 
Springfield, where Lyon should soon arrive from the north. Shortly after 
dark Sigel's men entered the woods east of Carthage, and the enemy 
abandoned the chase in the gloom of dense foliage. The tired Germans 
marched on for twelve and a half miles to Sarcoxie, arriving at 3 a.m. They 
had stopped here on the way down. Now they built fires on the old camp- 
ground, cooked the first food they had eaten for twenty-four hours, and 
dozed against trees and in fence corners. Many lay on their backs, holding 
up swollen feet for the blood to run back into their bodies. 

At dawn, sergeants aroused the weary men, prodding them with gut- 
tural German oaths. Sleepy soldiers lined up, answered roll call, and 
trudged forward into the blinding rays of the rising sun and another 
stifling July day. By midmorning, eighteen miles along the road, the 
column filed through Mount Vernon. Sigel was sure now that no enemy 
followed. He ordered a day's rest. Sibley tents were pitched; men washed 
themselves and their shirts, sitting around naked until their laundry 
dried. The thirty-five additional miles to Springfield were covered lei- 
surely, and when the column marched in, Sigel reported to Lyon — re- 
cently arrived — the details of his masterly retreat: thirteen killed and 
thirty-one wounded. He had saved his army but lost the lead mines. 


Germans across the nation lauded his successful military maneuver, and 
as far away as San Francisco his compatriots prepared a gorgeous flag in 
recognition of his military skill. 

Claib Jackson's state troops, when they gave up the chase at the edge of 
the dark woods, returned to Carthage, stacked arms in the street, and 
boasted about their victory to all citizens who dared venture back to town. 
Next day, as Sigel rested at Mount Vernon, Governor Jackson marched 
triumphantly south, beside him the bluff figure of Senator Atchison talk- 
ing, perhaps, about great times in Kansas. Lieutenant Governor Reynolds 
was unaccustomed to the hardships. Military campaigning disagreed with 
his plump physique and orderly mind — no facilities for filing documents 
with the precision that delighted him, no opportunity to display his florid 
literary style and elaborately schooled chirography. However, that diffi- 
culty might be corrected now by an about-face and the recapture of Jeffer- 
son City. Price's and McCulloch's army, combined, would be more than a 
match for all of Lyon's men. 

In midmorning Jackson's column met Price's Missourians and, behind 
them, a regiment of neatly uniformed Louisianans — Louis Hebert's Peli- 
can Rifles — and also a battalion of Texas boys, eighteen to twenty years 
old, in frontier dress. At the rear of the column came a new brigade of 
"butternut", volunteers from Arkansas commanded by N. Bartlett Pearce, 
a graduate of West Point who had served eight years in the Indian country 
before resigning to engage in the mercantile business. He was now back in 
the saddle ready to devote his military training to the Southern cause. 
Marching north, these soldiers had captured the entire garrison Sigel left 
at Neosho without firing a shot. The Federals' muskets had been dis- 
tributed among the Missourians. 

Governor Jackson's civilian veterans of the Carthage battle lined the 
road to admire the Confederates' neat gray uniforms, the resplendent 
Louisiana officers' gold braid, gold buttons, and stars. Real soldiers, sure 
enough! Military-minded Missouri boys wanted such uniforms for them- 
selves. Huzza for the Confederacy! Most brilliant of all was General Mc- 
Culloch, a man of about fifty with long hair on his shoulders. His white, 
planter's hat sported a wider brim than any other man's, his frock coat 
tails were a little fuller, his cravat flowed a little longer. He favored velvet 
for clothes, sat his horse magnificently, and always carried a fancy rifle in 
his hand. The New Orleans Picayune had made a hero of McCulloch in 


the Mexican War. He had joined the gold rush in 1849 and had been 
sheriff of Sacramento when Charles Robinson staged his squatters' revolt. 
Back once more in Texas at the outbreak of the rebellion, McCulloch led 
the forces which accepted the surrender of Twiggs and the Texas arma- 
ments in San Antonio, thus winning a brigadier's stars. In April, Eastern 
newspapers had reported McCulloch ready to dash across the Potomac 
and kidnap Lincoln. 

Major General Sterling Price assumed command of all the Missourians. 
Then he conferred with McCulloch about a combined attack to defeat 
Lyon and retake Jefferson City. McCulloch hesitated to co-operate, at least 
until Price made an army with his "half-starved infantry" and "huckle- 
berry cavalry." The great crowd of unarmed, noisy camp followers were 
a liability McCulloch did not care to assume. 

Price, redder than usual under his long white hair, resolved to whip his 
mob into an army. In his straggly ranks stood many veterans who had 
served under him or under Doniphan in the Mexican War. Almost every 
man had fought at one time or another against Indians on the plains or in 
the semimilitary expeditions against Kansas. A little training, Price was 
sure, would create an army second to none. 

Price marched back to Cowskin Prairie, with Atchison, Jackson, Reyn- 
olds, and the rest of the refugee government riding along. Here, where 
grass grew tall and beef was plentiful, Price selected experienced veterans 
for noncoms and set them to drilling the younger men in the school of the 
soldier, the school of the company, the school of the regiment. Special 
detachments began mining lead for bullets. Blacksmiths constructed forges 
to weld scrap iron into shells and canisters. The mistake made at Carthage 
by firing solid shot must not be repeated. On an improvised rifle range the 
men practiced shooting in ranks of three — standing, kneeling, and prone. 
This sounded simple enough, but practice was necessary to teach the prone 
men how to pour powder down the barrel of a muzzle-loader without 
rising from the ground. In this loading and firing drill, Colonel John Q. 
Burbridge endeared himself to the men by admonishing them to aim at 
the enemy's breeches' button. A wound in that region, he explained, nearly 
always gives the victim time to prepare to meet his Maker. Some two 
thousand of Price's seven thousand men still lacked guns. These recruits 
were drilled to follow a charge and pick up muskets from the dead and 


As Price whipped his followers into an Army, Atchison, Jackson, and 
Reynolds left him and drove down the wire road to Fort Smith on the 
Arkansas River, the overland stage terminus at the edge of Indian Terri- 
tory. Here they boarded the boat for Memphis. They were in a hurry, for 
they had learned that a convention had been called in Missouri to form 
a new government. Unless a Confederate Army invaded the state and 
brought the governor and his legislature back to Jefferson City, the people 
of Missouri were sure to depose them all and inaugurate a pro-Union 
regime. Stopping first to consult with the Confederate generals in com- 
mand on the Mississippi, they traveled on to Richmond to explain the 
emergency to Jeff Davis. 

President Davis realized the importance of getting Missouri in the Con- 
federate fold and offered to do what he could. He ordered Brigadier Gen- 
eral Gideon Pillow to detach six thousand men from the defenses he was 
building along the Mississippi, land them at New Madrid, and join the 
"mushrat" men M. Jeff Thompson had organized in the swampy wilder- 
ness. The ex-mayor of St. Joe was now a military man to be reckoned with. 
He had ridden into southeast Missouri on an old horse with a rope for a 
bridle and only seventy-five cents jingling in his pockets. His homespun 
breeches were tucked into high muddy boots and his shirt flapped outside 
his belt, but he fixed a gay white plume in his old wool hat and called all 
men to his standard who opposed being ruled by the Dutch and who con- 
sidered themselves better than the "nigger." Waving a cutlass in one hand 
and a pistol in the other, he told barefooted recruits, "I understand you 
want to fight. By God! You shall have it. I am a ripsquealer and my name 
is fight." These "swamp rats" and Pillow's trained volunteers could now 
co-operate with the brigade stationed at Pocahontas, Arkansas, under 
General William H. Hardee. With Price and McClulloch, they could sur- 
round, cut off, and defeat Lyon in Springfield. Fremont, up in St. Louis, 
might try to reinforce him, but if he did, the Confederates could circle his 
flank and take weakened St. Louis. Thus the Confederacy planned to 
coerce Missouri out of the Union. (A pretty inconsistency considering that 
the main complaint against Lincoln was his use of the Federal Army to 
coerce the state into it!) Fremont saw the city's predicament and notified 
Lyon to save himself by coming north unless able to handle the situation 

X I V 
Born Among the Rocks 

As the iowa greyhounds approached Springfield, couriers reported the 
battle of Carthage and Sigel's escape. The Iowans, tired but exuberant ^ 
over marching away from Lyon's entire division, bivouacked beside the 
road. They speculated about Jackson's chance of joining McCulloch and 
wondered if the Union men had come to take part in a fight or a foot 
race. Next day they bombarded the incoming regulars, Kansans, and St. 
Louis Germans with friendly insults : "Iowa saved the Union that time %x 
sure enough," and, "You bastards have not yet begun to die for your 

The proud Iowans patched and scrubbed their clothes, swam in the^ 
creek, and at night played with their precious cards by the light of candles 
in bayonets stuck in the ground. Old Mace produced a bottle for his best 
friends. In the morning sutlers came out from town with a treat — a 
special, Springfield twist tobacco cured in molasses. 

Private Guthrie of Company E, First Iowa, found a little mule that fol- 
lowed him around like a dog, jigging along beside him wherever he went. 
The First Sergeant entered into the company's fun, and when he called 
the roll and reached the G's, the assembled men heard: "Gregory," 
"Here" — "Grimes," "Heow" — "Guthrie and the mule," "Both here." 

At Springfield, Lyon's army mingled with Sigel's veterans and Swee- 
ney's volunteers, all swapping lies about their experiences. One company of 
St. Louisans laughed about their Fourth of July parade: "Drank so much 
wine we couldn't hold a line at company drill." 

The entire Union command now numbered about seven thousand men. 
Lyon, in a terrible temper, clattered around the town on his gray stal- 
lion. Not knowing that McCulloch had crossed into Missouri, Lyon still 


hoped to overtake Jackson before he joined either Price or the Texan, but 
the quartermaster goods and supplies he had depended on for continua- 
tion of his forced march were all piled up at Rolla, a hundred and twenty- 
five miles away. Five days, perhaps a week, would be required to haul 
them to camp. After that time, it would be too late to catch the Missouri 
governor. Everyone blamed Fremont. The new commander up in St. 
Louis had sacrificed Lyon. To make the situation worse, an intercepted 
dispatch indicated that M. Jeff Thompson had rallied his "swamp rats" 
below Rolla and might cut the supply line. Moreover, the enlistment time 
had expired for three thousand of Lyon's seven thousand men. Some were 
leaving daily. The whole summer's campaign was dissolving at the mo- 
ment complete victory might be attained. 

Lyon decided to act at once. He knew that marching men forget their 
troubles, seldom report on sick call or desert. The general sent John S. 
Phelps, veteran congressman from the district, to plead with Fremont in 
St. Louis for recruits. Next he ordered reveille blown at three-thirty in the 
morning and the column started south. He was taking a desperate chance 
but, with luck, might overtake the enemy columns before they consoli- 
dated and before most of his own troops went home. Perhaps he could 
enlist an additional thousand local boys, but even with them his force 
might drop to only five thousand against the enemy's possible twenty 
thousand if Jackson, Price, and McCulloch had joined. 

The Union cavalry trotted down the wire road in the column's van. 
Totten and his "God-damn-you-sir" battery rumbled after them, then 
into the choking dust swung the footmen swaying to the cadences of 
"Happy Land of Canaan." An hour's march from Springfield the wire 
road dipped down into the Wilson's Creek depression from the northeast 
and passed south of the farm home of J. O. Ray. Fording the tree-lined 
stream, the road skirted under a fifty- or sixty-foot bluff for half a mile. 
Men could climb the steep sides, but it was brush-covered and would be 
difficult for horse. Along the road the van could not see its own skirmishers 
fifty yards ahead. The bluff terminated at Skegg's Branch — a tributary 
from the west. The road crossed this creek and climbed out to the open 
prairie beyond. Farmhouses stood on the distant sky line and golden 
wheat stood shocked in the fields. Lyon and his adjutant, John M. Scho- 
field, memorized the geography with soldierly attention to details. Out- 


croppings of limestone strata clinked under their horses' hoofs. Behind 
them the artillery rumbled and jolted over the rocky surface. Surely an 
enemy could hear a column approaching for miles. 

The whole country south of Wilson's Creek looked forbidding to the 
soldiers. They knew that an overwhelming number of enemies waited be- 
low them somewhere. The heat was terrific. Dust billowed up from their 
feet in a cloud visible for miles. On the open prairie the men felt safe, 
but in the brushy draws they apprehended a surprise attack. Every log 
cabin in the hollows seemed foreign and hostile. Mud chimneys, wash- 
tubs, and spinning wheels on the stoops appeared strangely sinister. Peo- 
ple were poorer, more shiftless than Northern farmers. The invaders con- 
sidered them enemies and their property fair game. At night camps 
Corpular Mace milked the nearest cows and also the henroosts. His com- 
pany lived well. Geese that refused to take the oath were executed without 
compunction. Guthrie staked his mule in the best of the secession cabbage 
patches. The Iowans also appropriated hats, shirts, and shoes from country 
stores along the road and boasted, "If our boys had been at Valley Forge 
there would have been no blood on the snow." A little dog was picked up 
by Company E. The men called her Liz and complained whimsically that 
she was of no practical use except to supply the men with fleas. Soldiers 
washed the insects from their bodies by riding naked in the rain. Veterans 
said that whiskey poured down a man's back, and also down his throat, 
discouraged the pests. One soldier quoted the Bible: "The wicked flee 
when no man pursueth." 

After dark on August i, 1861, the men noticed the southern sky glow- 
ing with the reflections of myriad campfires. Evidently Jackson and Mc- 
Culloch had joined forces. The vastness of their fire shadows on the clouds 
made the Northerners' number seem insignificant. Soldiers joked — none 
too humorously — about being mustered out by a bullet instead of a 
Federal officer. Corpular Mace did not like the prospect. "They won't kill 
me," he drawled, rolling the whites of his eyes in the firelight. "They'll 
captivate me. Fse wuf two thousand dollars. I'se done sold for that mo'n 
wonce." The boys spit grimly in the ashes and agreed sardonically that 
Mace and Lyon had the most to lose. Then they piled wood on the fire 
for another yarn before lying down to ask the stars a few questions of 
their own. 


Time had come to select a battlefield or to retreat. In the morning Lyon's 
regular cavalry probed the enemy and galloped back with the informa- 
tion that the two armies had joined — no question about it — and were 
marching around the Union forces, might even cut them off from their 
base at Springfield. Lyon ordered an about-face and the men swung back 
up the familiar road, watching over their shoulders a great cloud of yellow 
dust above the horizon — the enemy's flanking column. As they raced 
away from the enemy trap, the Union soldiers joked and played pranks. 
Private Bill Huestis noticed a dead man's hand protruding from a shallow 
grave and remarked, "That soldier is reaching for his land warrant." 

The sun beat down on simmering fields and dust puffed up from the 
road. Marching along, Private Ware saw one of the regulars drop from 
the column ahead, set his rifle beside an inviting springhouse door, and 
step inside for a drink. Ware's musket needed repairs, so he set it beside 
the rifle and moved the latter. A moment later the first soldier reappeared, 
snatched the worn-out gun, and ran to catch his company. Ware shoul- 
dered the only gun left and joined his own outfit musing: "Them regulars 
will steal anything." 

The rear guard fought delaying skirmishes at Dug Springs and Cur- 
ran's post office on August 2 and 3. A troop of United States cavalry 
charged into the column of Senator Rains's advancing Missourians and 
stampeded Price's entire army — fifty men dispersing fifteen hundred. 
McCulloch's scorn for the "half-starved infantry" and "huckleberry 
cavalry" seemed justified. He had never been enthusiastic about the 
joint campaign and threatened to march back to Arkansas. His misgivings 
were backed by his second in command, West Pointer James Mcintosh, 
who became known as "the man cussin' the Missourians." General Price, 
the ranking officer of the combined army and the oldest man, rode over to 
McCulloch's headquarters and offered him the supreme command if he 
would stay and fight the Federals. McCulloch agreed reluctantly. He was 
a dashing captain but not a general. The complications of a campaign 
annoyed and baffled him. Councils and "paper work" interfered with his 
daily horseback jaunts and rifle practice. 

Lyon's men recrossed Wilson's Creek and marched into Springfield on 
August 5, 1 861. News of their retreat preceded them, and townsmen were 
packing wagons to escape to Rolla. The rebels were known to be follow- 


ing close behind. Next day scouts reported the men camped on Wilson's 
Creek. Corn was ripening and the pastures seemed adequate for their big 
beef herd and two thousand horses. The encampment, over a mile wide, 
stretched for two or three miles along the creek. The Confederate multi- 
tude plainly outnumbered Lyon's army, and Southern sympathizers looked 
forward eagerly to the defeat of the "whirlwind in breeches" who had 
swept all obstacles before him in a summer's campaign from St. Louis to 
Jefferson City, Boonville, and Springfield. War correspondents had come 
south with Lyon's column to report his activities to papers in Chicago, St. 
Louis, San Francisco, and the four leading New York journals — the Her- 
ald, Times, Tribune, and World. Thomas Knox of the Herald was still 
with the troops, well acquainted now with officers and men. 

Lyon found conditions worse than ever in Springfield — no supplies 
from Rolla and no encouragement from Fremont. Full details of a Federal 
defeat at Bull Run in Virginia cast an additional gloom over the encamp- 
ment. An officers' council was called on August 8, 1861, at headquarters on 
North Jefferson Street, near the public square. Lyon outlined the situation, 
said that in case of a further retreat the enemy's superior force might 
harry them excessively. But to entrench in Springfield seemed imprac- 
ticable, for the town was widely scattered and the suppy line precarious. 
What did the officers think of a quick attack which, if it did not conquer 
the enemy, would at least confound and disorganize him, thus making a 
retreat safer ? 

Colonel Sweeney, just back from a raid on the town of Forsyth, coun- 
seled attack. His old enemy, Samuel P. Heintzelman, had served as a 
brigadier in the recent Bull Run disaster. Now, Sweeney saw a chance to 
show him how army men should fight. Flushed red as a beet under his 
orange hair, he twitched the empty sleeve pinned to his brass-buttoned 
coat and shouted: "Let us eat the last bit of mule flesh and fire the last 
cartridge before we think of retreating." Colonels Deitzler and Mitchell of 
the First and Second Kansas backed the Irishman, but the majority voted 
for retreat. Lyon dismissed the council without a decision. Correspondent 
Thomas Knox reported Lyon to be a changed man. The prospect of los- 
ing southwest Missouri had sapped his former energy and decisiveness. 
During the afternoon Sweeney came to Lyon's headquarters, and the two 
regulars talked on the back porch, beyond the hearing of clerks and or- 


derlies. After Sweeney left, Lyon went into his room and lay down on his 
cot. Evidently he had not made up his mind. 

In the evening the supply train arrived from Rolla. Next day sergeants 
issued shoes and clothing, while orderly clerks distributed letters from 
home. Among the dispatches, Lyon received an order from Fremont stat- 
ing reinforcements to be unavailable. The general must retreat, unless he 
felt capable of defeating the enemy with the men he had. Lyon read the 
order and looked out on the public square. Already two regiments had 
gone home, their enlistment period over. Half of the men in Sigel's and 
Salomon's forces had left to be mustered out. The First Iowa agreed to 
stay only for a battle and no longer. 

Lyon replied to Fremont that the enemy was encamped five miles away. 
He did not say that he contemplated a battle, nor did he complain about 
the lack of reinforcements. The message was sealed and sent on its way. 
Then he ordered all companies to shift their place of encampment in order 
that spies might not count their number. To prevent straying, the roll was 
called hourly. Men were cautioned to be ready to march at sundown — 
but whether toward the railroad at Rolla or against the enemy was still 
uncertain. Old Mace disappeared, leaving no word, and Company E 
cooked their own supper. 

Before dark Sigel came to see the general. He stamped up the steps to 
the brick house. The little fellow's jaw muscles gritted when he was nerv- 
ous. Lyon led the way to the back porch for a talk. Sigel had fought with 
more rebel Missourians than any man in the army. The decision, reached 
by these two, came as a surprise to young Adjutant General John M. Scho- 
field. As a West Pointer disciplined for death, Schofield also believed in a 
soldier's right to exert reasonable caution. An attack on at least three times 
their number seemed the extreme of rashness, and Lyon's battle plan 
seemed worse still. The general explained to Schofield that Sigel was to 
march that evening with a brigade — his own and Salomon's regiments, 
two troops of regular cavalry under Captain Eugene A. Carr, and a light 
battery of six guns — totaling twelve hundred men. This force was to 
strike McCulloch from the east at dawn, while Lyon's main army — now 
reduced to thirty-five hundred — would strike from the west. Thus a total 
of about fifty-five hundred might defeat fifteen thousand to twenty thou- 
sand men. 


The adjutant general knew Sigel's reputation as a revolutionary com- 
mander in Europe. He knew also that the German had failed to hold the 
fleeing secessionist legislature. Schofleld asked incredulously, "Is Sigel 
willing to undertake this?" 

Lyon replied, "Yes, it is his plan." Major Schofield did not mention his 
own opposition. A soldier's duty was to obey without remonstrance. 
Neither knew that Price, Rains, and McCulloch at that moment were call- 
ing in their pickets for a night march against Springfield. 

Shortly after sundown on August 9, 1861, the Federal drums beat "falh-* 
in." The Iowa men lined up before their company fires. They had no 
tents. In the distance they saw Lyon, on his dappled gray horse, stopping 
before each company to speak a few words. Finally he drew rein before 
Company E. Private Ware noticed that his blouse was buttoned up to his 
whiskers as though the hot night was cold. Red braid on the sleeves was 
worn and frayed. In a low voice the general said: 

Men, we are going to have a fight. We will march out in a short time. 
Don't shoot until you get orders. Fire low — don't aim higher than their 
knees; wait until they get close; don't get scared; it's no part of a soldier's 
duty to get scared. 

Then Lyon moved on and the men stood at attention as he repeated the 
speech, beyond their hearing, to the next company. Finally he had gone. 
The men lolled over their guns, disappointed in the commander and his 
speech. Private Heustis said, "How is a man to help being skeered when 
he is skeered?" Later they compared notes with the cavalry and wished 
that they were commanded by Sweeney, who had twitched his empty 
sleeve grotesquely and told his men: "Stay together, boys, and we'll saber 
hell out of them." That was language the Iowa boys understood. Volun- 
teers did not like sour-faced Lyon, although they respected his ability. 

At dusk Sigel's brigade slipped out of the encampment, Captain Eu- 
gene A. Carr on lead. A born centaur, he would rather be a colonel of 
cavalry than President of the United States. To him the night's work was 
not only strictly professional but also grand adventure. Behind him strode 
Salomon's gray-clad German veterans of Carthage. Sigel rode along with 
a blue blanket tied behind his saddle. The darkened sky threatened rain 
from the south. 

Lyon marched also at dusk, his command divided into three brigades. 


At the head of the column rode one-armed Sweeney and Major Sturgis, 
his beard shaved of? for the battle. He was marching out to fight old 
comrades, including James Mcintosh, McCulloch's second in command, 
who had left him at Fort Smith to join the Confederacy. Sturgis would 
be accused of shaving to disguise himself from sharpshooters. At his van 
Captain Joseph B. Plummer led a battalion of regular infantry. Next 
came the Second Missouri Volunteers (two companies) with Major 
Peter J. Osterhaus giving German commands, then Totten's light artillery, 
and two companies of cavalry — one regular, one volunteer. 

In the Second Brigade marched the First Missouri, commanded, in 
Blair's absence, by Lieutenant Colonel George L. Andrews. A dapper, 
likable, regular army artillery lieutenant, Johnnie DuBois, brought fifty 
recruits and four cannon. The splendidly mounted Fred Steele com- 
manded a battalion of regulars. He was a small, slender soldier noted for 
his fastidious dress — always immaculate even after the hardest march. 
An epicure and also a sportsman, Steele maintained a string of race horses 
which invariably won money from the fastest animals his men could pro- 
cure, and he always rode the best. 

The Third Brigade seemed weakest by professional standards. It con- 
tained the First and Second Kansas fanatics, and some two hundred 
mounted home guards who had enlisted since Lyon arrived in Springfield. 
All were nonprofessional but with a will to fight. How would they con- 
duct themselves ? Marching at the tail of the army, the Iowa singers began 
y to joke about the style of coffins they wanted. Private Heustis set his 
platoon laughing when he shouted: "I am a-going to be a great big he- 

Lyon heard the laughter, turned in his saddle, and spoke to the regi- 
mental commander. "They have too much levity to do good fighting," he 
complained. The colonel reminded him that the Iowans had outmarched 
the regulars and would fight well when given an opportunity. "I will give 
them an opportunity," Lyon mumbled in his whiskers, "but I very much 
fear they will disgrace themselves." 

The storm clouds became more ominous. Overhead, stars twinkled 
through their ragged edges. Lyon, with his staff, cantered along the col- 
umn, stopping to chat with each commander. He drew rein beside Fred 


Steele's prancing charger, bridle chains jingling. Steele raised a velvet cuff 
and saluted the general. He had known Lyon at West Point and dared 
asked the order of the column. Where was Sigel ? 

Lyon replied that the German was to go by a different route and strike 
the enemy from behind. Steele shook his silky blond whiskers, and sput- 
tering a fusillade of oaths in a cheerful impersonal manner, piped in his 
shrill voice, "Sigel is incapable of commanding an individual unit." The 
graceful horseman seemed almost feminine, except for his beard and 
blasphemy. "Moreover," he continued socially, "the entire command is 
much too small to be weakened by splitting." 

The dappled horse galloped away with Lyon into the gloom. Thomas 
Knox, the Herald correspondent, spied the commander coming and turned 
his horse to ride beside him. He had talked to Lyon many times in Spring- 
field, knew that he worried about fighting against such odds, but felt 
honor bound not to give up southwest Missouri without a battle. Knox 
had already reported the general as showing an indecision new to his 
usually impetuous nature. Tonight he found the commander more absent- 
minded than usual, often unaware of questions asked him, apparently 

The entire column halted after a four- or five-mile march. Then for 
hours the companies and regiments moved mysteriously in the night. 
Private Ware remembered that his outfit sometimes marched only a hun- 
dred yards between stops, where the men napped like dogs for half an 
hour, and moved again. Officers rode out of the darkness occasionally and 
padded away, their horses' hoofs muffled in sacks. Artillery rumbled past 
with blankets around the wheels. No one explained to the volunteers that 
the entire army was being deployed in columns of companies with suffi- 
cient intervals for each regiment to be brought into battle line. Regular 
privates did not seem to care and slept stolidly wherever halted. In the 
enemy camp no sound could be heard except the incessant braying of 

At midnight a drizzle started, and the men sheltered themselves in 
fence corners, behind caissons, in brush piles and under shocks of freshly 
cut corn. Four or five newspaper correspondents buried themselves under 
new-mown hay in a field only four miles from the enemy camp. Vedettes 


rode out two miles farther. If McCulloch was making his surprise march 
to Springfield, he must have evaded both Sigel and Lyon! 

Lyon and Schofield dismounted to rest between limestone slabs still 
warm with the day's heat. The officer of the rear guard rode up and re- 
ported no stragglers and no disposition to straggle — not a man. The 
volunteers all berated the cowards of Bull Run and hankered to retrieve 
the nation's honor. Their commanders, good politicians, were telling them 
that tomorrow's battle opened a war for civilization. Somewhere among 
the shadows, among the men resting in fence rows and crannies in the 
rocks, lolled long-haired Wild Bill Hickok, seasoned with the Kansas wars 
but still fastidious about his costume and dainty high-heeled boots. His 
sweeping mustache was almost long enough now to tie behind his neck. 
Only a month ago he had gained great notoriety at the overland stage 
station in Rock Creek, Nebraska, for killing three men — the McCanles 
gang. Since then he had been wantonly attacked by guerrillas while con- 
ducting a freight train to Sedalia and barely escaped to southwest Missouri 
where he was well acquainted — especially with Congressman John S. 

Across Wilson's Creek, in the enemy multitude, many Wild Bills 
waited for dawn. Around the campfires, enjoying a new life, lounged 
wealthy Shelby and his reckless riders, Cole Younger with thinning hair 
plastered down above a face faintly reminiscent of Charles Robinson at 
his age, lascivious-lipped Quantrill with his ready smile and gang of mix- 
bloods. These slant-eyed border men from nearby Indian Territory were 
the rising young gunman's first command. 

Out on the drizzling prairie, Schofield and Lyon crouched together. To 
the youthful adjutant, Lyon seemed as fanatic as Old Brown of Osawa- 
tomie. Schofield knew the barrack-room gossip about Lyon's zeal and 
cruelty, his almost bloodthirsty hatred of all slaveholders, the trivial anec- 
dotes about Lyon's snatching a whip to lash the driver of a balky team 
instead of the horses, how the general had kicked a private he caught 
beating a dog and made the man kneel down and beg the animal's pardon. 
At Fort Riley Captain Lyon had insulted a supporter of slavery and re- 
fused his challenge to a duel. Goaded by fellow officers, Lyon had finally 
consented to fight and demanded pistols across a table — sure death for 
both contestants. No one doubted his murderous seriousness, and Major 


Sibley, second for the offended party, insisted that the challenge be re- 
called. Yes, the general and Old Brown had much in common. 

Schofleld stopped his musing to brush raindrops from his jacket. He 
asked the silent general, crouching between the warm rocks, if he was 
comfortable, and heard the gruff reply : "All right. I was born among the 

X V 

The Battle of Wilson's Creek 

On the prairie west of Wilson's Creek the rain abated at 4 a.m. on the 
eventful morning of September 10, 1861. Lyon roused Schofield from his 
meditations. Both men remounted their horses, and the Union Army 
moved forward toward the paling eastern sky. Marching feet swept rain- 
drops from the grass. In low tones, sergeants cautioned men to hold inter- 
vals. Officers stood in their stirrups to scan the horizon for a glimpse of en- 
emy campfires. Lyon, on his gray charger, looked across his advancing 
men. This was the first time in his lifelong service that he had com- 
manded more than a company in battle. Strangely, no pickets challenged 
his approach, and his skirmishers almost reached Price's encampment be- 
fore the first shot blazed against the dawn sky. Then a fusillade! 

No need for silence now! Officers shouted commands. A dozen drums 
began to beat. Horses pranced excitedly. Columns of companies shuffled 
front into line. With the light of day, the men saw distant tents through 
a fringe of oaks. Marching into a depression, they could see nothing, but 
when they reached the far side, the open slope toward Wilson's Creek 
spread out before them. There was the wire road from Springfield. It 
turned under the blufT, out of sight, below them. The men knew the coun- 
try well, having camped there twice in the last two weeks. 

The plan of battle was plain now. Lyon's regiments were marching 
obliquely across the tongue of land between Wilson's Creek and Skegg's 
Branch. At the edge of the blurr", if they reached it, they would command 
the entire enemy camp. On the Federal right marched the First Missouri 
with a battalion of the Second Missouri under Major Peter Osterhaus in 
reserve to protect their flank. On the left came the First Kansas. Totten's 
battery rumbled along between the wings. The Second Kansas and First 


Iowa brought up the rear. Captain Sam Walker was almost too ill to sit 
his horse, but he determined to be in this fight. 

Lyon, with his staff, drew rein, sent an order to Totten, and surveyed 
the field. The artillery major saluted, galloped to his assigned position as 
methodically as though al drill, wheeled, unlimbered, and fired a twelve- 
pound shot at the distant tents — the signal for Sigel to attack across the 

General Ben McCulloch was at Price's tent when the alarm sounded. 
The venerable white-haired politician sat with his adjutant, Thomas 
Snead, who still cherished the memory of Lyon's defiance in St. Louis. 
McCulloch had ordered pickets drawn in last night for his proposed march 
to Springfield, but when the rain began at 9 p.m. (the storm reached Lyon 
at midnight), he canceled orders for the advance. Someone blundered by 
forgetting to replace sentries. Neither McCulloch nor Price suspected that 
Lyon was near. A cavalry detail from Rains's division had been out on the 
prairie all night between the roads Sigel and Lyon traveled but did not see 
or hear them. Eager to get back at dawn for hot coffee, they stopped only 
to forage a few bushels of corn which they were carrying on their saddles 
when they spied the enemy — long lines of men marching down upon 
them as far as they could see. The horsemen threw away their burdens 
and spurred to camp. Colonel John F. Snyder heard their breathless re- 
port and galloped down to Price's tent where the two commanders sat in 
conference. "Lyon," he shouted, "with twenty thousand men and a hun- 
dred pieces of artillery, is within a mile of this army." 

McCulloch had had his fill of panicky Missourians stampeded at Dug 
Springs, and he believed this another of "Rains's scares." But soon he 
heard shouts, then the fusillade. Looking up Wilson's Creek, he saw a 
mob of men on horseback and in wagons whipping down the valley. Then 
Totten's cannon shell screamed across Wilson's Creek. Almost at once an- 
other cannon — Sigel's — answered from the other side of the camp. 
Evidently the enemy was attacking on both sides. 

The surprise was complete. One of Price's regimental officers was eating 
breakfast when an orderly galloped up, yelling for him to form his men. 
"Is that official?" the officer queried, as he sipped his coffee. The next mo- 
ment a shell from Totten's battery cut a sapling near the table. "Well, 
by !" he cried. "That is official" — and he ordered out his men. 


McCulloch's army, if army it could be called, stood dumfounded — 
brave but confused. Louis Hebert's neatly clad Third Louisiana — the 
Pelican Rifles — held their formation. So did the Texans, proudly dis- 
tinguished from the rabble by white muslin around their left arms. 
Pearce's newly mustered Arkansans were half drilled and only partly 
armed. Some carried their own shotguns but no cartridge boxes or other 
equipment. Price's men had learned to hold rough formations at Cowskin 
Prairie, but fully a thousand of them still had no guns or tents. At night 
they bivouacked in the brush and by day foraged on the prairies or loi- 
tered around the beef herd for their allotment of meat on the hoof. Mc- 
Culloch still held these Missourians in low esteem and counted on his 
other troops to win the battle. Perhaps this was an error in judgment, for 
the Missouri horde in coarse cotton shirts and yellow "jean pantaloons" 
were veterans and, like the Kansans on the other side, they looked for- 
ward to settling old scores in this fight. Some of them had been members 
of the "bogus" Kansas legislature. Others had been captured and paroled 
from Camp Jackson in St. Louis. Men like Jo Shelby, Charles Quantrill, 
Frank James, Cole Younger — and they were legion — could be counted 
on to fight with courage and resourcefulness. 

Against this grim mob, which stood scattered across two miles of brush 
and farm land, Lyon's long line marched steadily forward. Far beyond 
the creek, where the road came down past Ray's farm, Lyon saw many 
little figures — Hebert's Third Louisiana — climb over a fence and dis- 
appear in a broomcorn field. From that position they would be able to 
shoot along the entire Union line as it marched into range. 

Lyon called a halt, barked an order, and Captain J. B. Plummer marched 
from the left flank with a battalion of Missouri home guards, ably stiff- 
ened with three hundred regulars. Let the Missourians "open the ball" 
in defense of their country! The army stood watching the detachment 
march away, drums beating, banners floating in the breeze. Lyon, as still 
as an equestrian statue, squinted through his telescope. Then he turned to 
Gordon Granger, and ordered Lieutenant Johnnie DuBois's battery with 
his green recruits to follow and sweep the Louisianans from the cornfield 
with grape and canister, before Plummer arrived. "Better go along, too," 
Lyon told Granger, "and see that the young gentleman has no trouble." 

The halted army watched the battery gallop off, postilions leaning over 


the racing horses' backs. "Look at them roans," a soldier can be imagined 
as saying, "every one round as a dollar." A wheel hit a rock, bounded in 
the air spinning, but the carriage righted itself, reached the objective, un- 
limbered and began to puff smoke — shooting over Plummer's advancing 
force into the broomcorn field. DuBois's recruits acted admirably. The v^ 
First Iowa volunteers and Fred Steele's battalion of regulars were ordered 
to protect the battery from a possible counterattack. Then the main army 
moved ahead at quickstep — a long, wavering line like a flight of wild 

An enemy battery across the creek opened on DuBois. The Iowans — ^ 
hurrying to protect him — watched the shells arch through the air toward 
them. One hit the sod and richocheted. The company dog ran after it. A 
sudden and horrible neighing scream above the bombardment set all the 
men to craning their necks. "Down, damn you, down, sirs," officers cau- 
tioned, and the men threw themselves in the grass. The scream, they 
learned, came from one of DuBois's roan wheel horses. A cannon ball 
had torn off its shoulder. A sergeant killed the animal with his pistol. 

This fight for the broomcorn field was a battle all to itself half a mile 
from the main forces. On the Confederate side, Mcintosh — with a bat- 
talion of mounted Arkansans — calmly co-operated with Hebert. He 
trained batteries on DuBois and sent a detachment to charge and capture 
his guns. McCulloch noted Mcintosh's efficiency in action, left everything 
to him, and rode down Wilson's Creek to see how the center was prepar- 
ing to meet Lyon's oncoming line. The Louisianan's charge for DuBois's 
guns was countered by the First Iowa and Steele's regulars. They stepped 
forward in line, seeing no enemy but holding guns at ready. Officers 
warned them to watch the gulch ahead where treetops peeped out. In de- 
fiance, or perhaps to bolster courage, the whole line began to yell as it 
marched. Private Ware, of Company E, saw a man ahead writhing on the 
grass. The wounded youth was handsome, with blue eyes and a light mus- 
tache. As the line approached, Ware asked the stricken soldier where he 
was hit but heard no answer in the battle roar. He dared not stop, stepped 
over him, and marched on. 

The Iowans saw plainly the enemy batteries across the creek half a mile 
ahead. Every time smoke puffed from the big guns, the men pressed them- 
selves into the earth until the shells struck. Then they jumped up and 



hunted the balls or bits of shrapnel for souvenirs. Wild Bill Hickok, some- 
where in the shifting columns, found himself truly frightened in the din. 
Frank James said later that he found the fighting slow. 

Ahead of the Iowans, across the creek in the broomcorn, Plummer was 
outnumbered by the Louisianans almost four to one. At first he drove 
them back, but Mcintosh, his schoolmate at West Point, rallied the Peli- 
cans behind Ray's farmhouse, and they came crashing through the corn 
with fixed bayonets. DuBois fired two shells through the house, then fell 
wounded and was carried to the rear. Lyon saw the mishap and sent Tot- 
ten galloping to the lieutenant's rescue. The veteran artilleryman rained 
shot and shell into the corn, wounded Mcintosh, and checked his Louisi- 
anans. But it was too late. Plummer's men slunk out badly whipped. 
Their commander was wounded, and eighty men lay dead or in enemy 
hands — the price paid for protecting the main army's flank. This side 
action had lasted an hour. 

During the fight Lyon continued his march down the tongue of land. 
Totten, before rejoining him, displayed his ability as an artilleryman. He 
pointed to a five-acre clearing across the creek, where wagons stood hub 
to hub. Then, with well-placed shots, he splintered the vehicles and set 
the loads of supplies on fire. A great black smoke, very different from 
cannon smoke, drifted through the oak brush. A west wind! That would 
help Lyon's plan of attack. 

Totten watched the fire, impassive as when he won a hand at cards. 
With monotonous "God damn you, sirs," he ordered the guns limbered, 
then galloped away with them to the main field, where the army stood 
deployed three deep and a thousand yards long — on the right the Ger- 
man regiment and Osterhaus's battalion, on the left the First Kansas. 
In a depression at the rear stood the Second Kansas in reserve. The First 
Iowa soon streamed in from the defense of DuBois's battery to take a 
place beside the Kansans and wait, out of sight of the battle. 

Across the rock-littered flat, only a few hundred yards from the front 
Union line, stood the enemy. The main battle was beginning here. Both 
sides fired continually. White smoke from the muskets drifted down the 
slope to the east, through the tops of hazel brush and scraggly oaks, fog- 
ging the enemy and leaving the Union line free. Confederate officers often 
could see nothing but smoke ahead. The sharp smell of it tingled in their 


noses. Union soldiers fired blindly into the cloud. Confederate deserters 
skulked downhill to safety without detection. 

After an hour a sudden silence rang in the soldiers' ears. The Con- 
federates had withdrawn down the bluff to Wilson's Creek. Lyon re- 
aligned his men and brought up reserves to rebuff the next charge. Offi- 
cers conferred, inspected the various regiments' positions, asked one an- 
other about the enemy, speculated on the location of various batteries, and 
pointed to the position of Bledsoe's ox-drawn OF Sacramento. "Any man 
would recognize her bass voice — smelted from those Mexican church 
bells — probably shootin' trace chains and rocks at us," they may have said. 

Down below the flat-topped ridge Price re-formed along the wire road 
beside Wilson's Creek for a second onslaught. General McCulloch de- 
cided to aid him by a flank movement. He ordered his Third Texas cav- 
alry up Skegg's Branch where they might climb out on the ridge and slash 
down Lyon's thin line as Price boiled up the bluff and hit it in front. But 
at the place where the horsemen were to come out on the battlefield, 
brush and trees stood too dense for the men to ride through in formation. 
The horsemen straggled up to the plain and formed slowly for the charge. 
Totten spied them, understood the double play, wheeled his artillery and 
swept the cavalry back into the gulch. McCulloch watched the failure of 
this movement and noted Price's competence as his line clashed against 
Lyon's center. The Texan decided to leave the battle in Price's hands as 
he had left the broomcorn fight to Mcintosh, and galloped to the extreme 
left of his army. 

Lyon, cantering along the line, admonished the men to keep cool, shout- 
ing above the roar of battle, "Don't aim above their knees." He reined his 
gray horse over to Totten's battery and complimented the major for his 
marksmanship. Totten nodded. Then he noticed blood dripping from the 
heel of Lyon's boot and offered the general a drink of brandy from his 
canteen. Lyon said that the wound was not serious and galloped back into 
the battle fury. 

Clouds of smoke obscured the movements on both sides. Soldiers 
coughed in the ghastly white light, stumbled over the brush. In the tur- 
moil some companies advanced too far, others not far enough. Company E 
of the First Kansas inadvertently dressed on the Missouri enemy and 
fought with it, perplexed by seeing their supposed comrades shooting in 


the wrong direction. Finally, a Kansan recognized a rebel captain as the 
ex-postmaster at Leavenworth — a hated Border Ruffian — and shot him 
dead. Colonel Deitzler, of the First Kansas, was carried from the 
smoke — a buckshot in his thigh. In some companies almost half the men 
fell. Lyon whooped up the reserved Second Kansas. Colonel R. B. Mitch- 
ell, on a small dun horse, led his men proudly into the battle smoke. A 
company or two faltered. Mitchell and his horse both fell. Orderlies held 
him on another mount. In the sulfurous fog a rebel horseman appeared 
as by magic and was shot in a heap — the horse's legs thrashing wildly. 
The charger may have stampeded with his helpless rider from the enemy. 
Lyon, riding in the turmoil, felt his own stallion buckle beneath his knees 
and collapse without a struggle. A bullet creased the general's head. 

Stunned, Lyon picked himself up from the ground, limped a few steps 
to the rear, and sat down trembling. Major Sturgis, his clean-shaven face 
smudged now with battle smoke, rode up inquiringly, swung from the 
saddle and saluted. The dazed general seemed to recognize him. Sturgis 
shouted for a fresh horse. "It is not necessary," Lyon said absently, but he 
took the proffered reins. The major noticed a trickle of blood under the 
general's hat and lifted it to investigate. "That's nothing, Major," Lyon 
said, "but a wound in the head." 

The general stood up unsteadily. An orderly helped him mount a fresh 
horse and followed him into the smoke. Sturgis heard a distant war 
whoop from the enemy's right — the shrill yell McCulloch's men had 
learned from the Indians during their summer encampment at Fort 
Smith. Evidently a charge was coming. Sturgis looked at the general's 
bloodstained hat in his hand, threw it down, and galloped away to help 
hold the line. 

Where was Sigel? His attacks on the Confederate rear should ease the 
pressure here, but no one had heard from him. Then an artilleryman 
from DuBois's battery noticed something familiar about the screech of 
incoming cannon balls. "Great God!" he exclaimed. "They're shooting 
Sigel's ammunition at us." A shell that failed to explode was examined 
and found to be Sigel's, sure enough. So the German was done for, but in 
spite of the discouraging news the Confederates withdrew for a second 
time. Surely they were not retreating. More likely they were re-forming to 
strike again. Now with Sigel defeated, the entire Confederate Army could 


concentrate on Lyon's line and the general, weakened by loss of blood 
from two wounds, might give way. Was Wilson's Creek to be a second 
Bull Run? Perhaps Lyon should save his army by retreating. But he was 
not that kind of soldier. Neither was redheaded Sweeney. The Kansans, 
although badly cut to pieces, wanted only to be led forward. Let the Con- 
federates come again — four to one — if they dared! 

The details of Sigel's misfortune were not known for several hours. 
He had circled east of the enemy in the dark as planned, placed four of 
his six guns and supporting infantry within striking distance of Colonel 
T. J. Churchill's Arkansas Mounted Rifles three miles from the place 
where Lyon was to strike. Then Sigel moved the rest of his men to attack 
other positions farther in the rear. When Lyon's signal gun fired, Sigel's 
cannon replied, and his men moved forward. Churchill was completely 
surprised and fled from the grapeshot whistling among the camp kettles, 
knocking down mules and men. The Germans rushed in, helped them- 
selves to the rebels' breakfast and anything else they could find in the 
tents. Churchill's men had captured the entire company Sigel left at Neo- 
sho last month. Now the Germans wanted revenge! But Churchill's Ar- 
kansans reorganized in the brush, came back shooting, found the looting 
Germans completely out of control and killed or captured all of them. 

Sigel, in the meantime, marching with the balance of his force south of 
the enemy encampment, passed the herds of cattle and the slaughter 
grounds near the wire road. He was now fully three quarters of the way 
around the enemy's army. In doing this, he crossed the open prairie. 
McCulloch, riding distractedly through this part of his army, spied him 
and estimated his number. Here was the kind of simple combat McCul- 
loch understood. Waving the fancy rifle he always carried, the Texan 
whooped every man in sight against the Germans. Louis Hebert had just 
come in from his fight in the broomcorn. His eager men swung merrily 
down the road for this new assault. Sigel saw them coming — neat gray 
uniforms, drums bobbing against marching legs. He mistook them for the 
First Iowa, surmised that Lyon's victory was complete, and ordered his 
men to hold their fire. 

Totally deceived, Sigel's men were soon shot to pieces. They lost their 
artillery, their battle flags, and many of their lives. Only Eugene Carr 
escaped with a remnant in formation. Sigel, disguised with a blue blanket 


around his shoulders, rode into Springfield with one orderly and went to 
bed exhausted. 

Back on the battlefield, McCulloch assembled his men — the entire 
army now — for a third assault against Lyon. Churchill and Hebert 
brought in their victorious men to help Price. The men rallied along the 
wire road under the bluff — the Pelicans and Texans on the right, 
Churchill's Arkansans on the left. Price's Missourians lined up in the cen- 
ter with Pearce's Arkansans behind them. This was the largest number 
of men the Confederates had yet assembled for a single action. The un- 
armed men, thin, ragged hillbillies, some with loaded bullet bags, stood 
in the rear waiting for the charge that might gain them guns from the 
"furriners." Those with shotguns and flintlocks formed companies. "Pap" 
Price, in linen duster and high, black wool hat, rode before the ragged 
horde. "Now boys," he shouted, "here are the damned Dutch you have 
all been so anxious to meet: You see I am not afraid of them: Show them 
how you can fight." 

The irregular line crossed the wire road and started up through the 
brush. Adjutant Thomas Snead, riding beside Price, reported his white- 
haired hero as shouting, "You will soon be in a pretty hot place, men! 
But I will be near you, and will take care of you; keep cool as the inside 
of a cucumber and give them thunder." (Readers may edit these words of 
Thomas Snead's statement as their judgments dictate.) 

When the men neared the top of the bluff, Price could hear Federal 
officers shout commands. Brush snapped as the Union soldiers readied 
arms to meet the assault. The click of a thousand cocking hammers rat- 
tled along the line. Next moment, a volley crashed and a tidal wave of 
smoke rolled down the slope through the oaks. At the center of the line 
Price's Missourians stood doggedly before the blast, Old Pap riding along 
behind them. Several bullets ripped his clothes. One nipped him in the 
side. "That isn't fair," he said to Adjutant Snead. "If I were as slim as 
Lyon that fellow would have missed me entirely." On the Confederate 
left the Third Arkansas crouched low and fired at ghostly figures in the 
choking billows. On the right the Texans and Pelicans, elated after two 
victorious assaults — in the broomcorn and against Sigel — rushed 
through the brush with a yell. Let Louisianans show the whole Con- 
federate Army how to fight! 

For the third time the two lines met under clouds of powder smoke. 


Schofield, riding beside Lyon, noticed the general's bloody wounds and 
dazed condition. The Kansans, fanatically furious over the loss of their 
two colonels, seemed eager for a desperate charge — so Schofield thought. 
The time seemed right to bring up the First Iowans from reserve and ^ 
strike with the combined regiments. 

"General," Schofield began, "let us try it." 

Lyon's wan face lighted with the encouraging words, and the two offi- 
cers rode back to the reserves, formed them in line. With Lyon at the 
right and Schofield at the left they came forward. At the firing line, 
Schofield's horse plunged and fell. The adjutant jumped clear, and called 
to his orderly for his remount, but the man had disappeared. The major 
used to tell later how the fellow justified himself by saying that he had 
retreated to save the animal. On foot, Schofield turned to his reinforce- 
ments, ordered them to fix bayonets and prepare to charge the enemy 
who, with flintlock muskets and shotguns, would be helpless before them. 
Schofield drew his sword and waving it in the air shouted, "Charge." y 

To his surprise the men did not follow. These volunteers had no taste 
for cold steel and continued to shoot into the bank of smoke ahead. Scho- 
field found himself between the two fires. He turned quickly and hurried 
around the regiment's flank. As he did so, he noticed a soldier loading and 
firing his musket into the sky. Schofield stopped, grasped him by the 
arm, and shook him like a schoolboy. The man roused as from a trance 
and began aiming the piece rationally. 

Major Schofield passed on down the rear of the firing line to rejoin 
Lyon and plan the next movement. The Iowa men seemed to be taking 
their baptism of fire stoically. One volunteer wrote a friend, after the 
battle, that he was knocked down and felt a sharp pain in his shoulder. 
He jumped to his feet and raised his gun to fire, when the man beside 
him said, "You are shot." This remark, and not the pain, made the field 
whirl before the wounded man's eyes. He turned and staggered to the 
rear, falling down once or twice from dizziness. 

Schofield completed circling the Iowa reserves, watching for Lyon. As*^ 
he walked, he saw ahead on the ground the soles of a man's boots. He 
recognized Ed Lehman, Lyon's orderly, sobbing over the general's body — 
shot through the heart, his lifeblood in a pool on the flat limestone slabs. 
A perplexed frown wrinkled the dead general's forehead. Schofield knelt 
and shouted in the orderly's ear to stop his crying and carry Lyon's body 


quickly to the rear, lest the fighting line become discouraged. Four men 
carried the limp form away, placed it in the shade of a blackjack, and 
covered the face with a torn blanket. 

Major Schofield was unsure who should be in command now. He knew 
that Sweeney had been wounded and carried from the field, his stub arm 
twitching protest. Schofield caught a loose "secesh" horse, mounted it, 
and rode off to tell Major Sturgis that he was the ranking officer. Later, 
Schofield learned that there was a lieutenant colonel of volunteers, who 
might have claimed the command. 

Sturgis assumed the responsibility, clattered back and inspected the 
fighting lines in silence. For an hour the men continued their bombard- 
ment — Missourians against Missourians in the center, Texans, Pelicans, 
and Arkansans against Kansans, Iowans, and Germans on the flanks. 
Finally the exhausted Southerners withdrew down into the brush along 
Wilson's Creek, and silence reigned across the field. Soldiers began to 
joke. They put down their hot-barreled rifles, laughed at the dirty stains 
on one another's faces from biting cartridges. They uncorked canteens, 
drank heartily, and poured water into each other's hands to wash faces 
and grimy necks. 

A party of officers rode out into the deserted field, guiding their horses 
around the fallen bodies. Eight hundred and eighty-eight Confederates 
and eight hundred ninety-two Federals were later picked up between the 
Union line and the edge of the bluff. Schofield spurred to the edge of the 
point and looked down. Through the brush he could see the enemy re- 
forming for half a mile along the wire road, evidently preparing a fourth 
charge. Sigel's captured flag was down there in the enemy's hands, being 
waved exultantly. 

Schofield cantered back. All regimental officers were called for a con- 
ference, and as they sat on their horses talking, the rebels appeared again, 
Churchill's First Arkansas brandishing the flag captured from Sigel. 
Once again the Federals poured a cataract of lead into the oncoming line 
and another billow of smoke rolled over it. The Confederates faltered but 
did not break, and the two lines writhed back and forth in a death grap- 
ple. Finally the Southerners retired down the ridge for the fourth time, 
a slave belonging to Ben Griffith staggering after them, carrying his 
wounded master. 


Sturgis watched the enemy withdraw through the dissolving smoke. He 
looked at his watch. The hands pointed to 11:30 a.m. His men had been 
fighting without food since supper the night before. Ammunition was 
running low. Would his tired men stand steadfast against another as- 
sault? As a veteran regular, he knew the weaknesses of human flesh. 
Against the advice of Gordon Granger, to whom he usually deferred, 
Sturgis ordered a retreat. Major Schofield stated, years hence, that the 
battle was won had Sturgis but known it. Perhaps it is no coincidence that 
Schofield, a much younger man, ended the war as a major general and 
so did Granger, while Sturgis was only a brigadier. Had the fortunes of 
battle spared Lyon, Wilson's Creek might have been the most brilliant 
victory of the Civil War. General Sherman blamed the next four years of 
strife and pillage in Missouri on Lyon's death. 

Wilson's Creek battle losses on both sides were staggering. The Union 
killed, wounded, and missing totaled 1317. The rebels lost 1230. The First 
Missouri and First Kansas, which stood on the front line and almost broke 
before Schofield and Lyon brought reinforcements, lost 295 out of less 
than 800, and 284 out of 644. Company E of the First Kansas went in 
with 76 and came out with only 26. Of Captain Walker's 64 men in Com- 
pany F of the Second Kansas, only 24 were uninjured. The singing com- 
pany of the First Iowa, which had worried Lyon, did not lose a man, but 
the regiment suffered 150 casualties. No battle in the Civil War had a 
higher percentage of over-all losses. Bull Run suffered less than 10 per 
cent casualties. The Battle of Alma in the Crimean War, famous for its 
slaughter, had losses of only a fraction over 8 per cent, although the Light 
Brigade at Balaclava lost 36 per cent, and one regiment at Gettysburg 
lost 82 per cent. The casualties at Wilson's Creek amounted to over iy 
per cent of all engaged. 

Remarkable too, about the battle of Wilson's Creek, was the high per- 
centage of future generals in the engagement. Of the Union officers in 
command seven became major generals and twenty-three would wear 
brigadiers' stars. The citizen soldiers' courage under fire stopped regulars 
from disparaging the fighting qualities of volunteers, and the Northerners 
marched away with the satisfying proof that a mudsill would fight as 
doggedly as a cavalier. Never again would an informed Southerner be- 
lieve that one Confederate could whip five Yankees. 

X V I 
The Fall of Lexington 

1 he broken Union Army retreated to Rolla and entrained for St. Louis. 
Price, occupying Springfield, prepared for a triumphal return to the 
capital of Missouri. His allies, McCulloch and Pearce, both withdrew 
with their men to Arkansas. To oppose Price, Senator James Henry Lane 
and General John C. Fremont each prepared to act in his own peculiar 
manner — both of them wrong. Grim Chieftain Lane had the vaguest 
authority. Although commissioned a brigadier general, he dared not ac- 
cept the honor for fear of forfeiting his seat in the Senate. Yet he deter- 
mined to act. Carefully signing his name to official orders as "J. H. Lane, 
Commanding Army of Western Border," he began a speaking tour. With 
all the authority of a commissioned general, he urged enlistments in a 
giant jayhawking expedition, apparently an independent unit of his own, 
to carry the old bloodstained banner of Kansas to the Gulf. He reminded 
prospective recruits that cavalrymen could each lead back a horse. Infan- 
trymen could lead back one and ride another. Wild fellows flocked to his 
standard. Dan Anthony of the Leavenworth Conservative, recently ac- 
quitted of murder in the killing of the editor of the Herald, offered his 
services. Lane appointed him provost marshal of Kansas City. Thomas 
Ewing, Jr., chief justice of the Kansas Supreme Court, accepted a com- 
mission from Lane to enlist a regiment. Then Lane whipped away to 
southern Kansas where he assumed command over Jennison's and Mont- 
gomery's regiments at Fort Scott, waiting for Price's northern advance. 
Fremont, in the meantime, organized the vast resources of his Depart- 
ment of the West, which included Illinois, Missouri, and the territory 
westward to the mountains. In order to work efficiently, he established 
headquarters in the J. B. Brant mansion on Chouteau Avenue in St. Louis. 


Here, surrounded by capable civilians, West Pointers, and many foreign 
officers, he began shaping order out of Missouri chaos. For chief of staff 
he employed the stern and aloof Hungarian, Alexander S. Asboth, who 
had come to America with Kossuth, the revolutionist. 

Efficient and systematic, Fremont suppressed disorder. He stopped open 
enlistments in the Confederate Army, removed pictures of Jeff Davis and 
Beauregard from shop windows. The city became a beehive of activity. 
Streets throbbed with military bands. Let traitors know the nation's 
might. Columns of marching men with twinkling legs and aligned mus- 
kets wheeled around street corners. Almost daily, new uniforms caused 
comment on the sidewalks as the wearers sauntered jauntily about. The 
Jessie Fremont Guard wore an exquisite cavalry cap over the right eye. 
It required the wearer to hold his head back, his chin in, and his chest 
out — all to the hussar's immense pride. The commander of this select 
troop was the chivalrous and athletic Hungarian, Charles Zagoni. Jessie 
Fremont, the general's talented and vivacious wife, was the daughter of 
Senator Thomas Hart Benton, rival of David Rice Atchison and leader 
of the antislavery Democrats in Missouri until his death in 1858. St. Louis 
was her home, and she drove around town in a fine barouche as to the 
manner born. She had married John Fremont when he was a lieutenant. 
Her father, with Jessie's help, had made him the popular Pathfinder. "I 
have tried all my life," she told a newspaper reporter, "to make Fremont 
assert himself. He never does. It would be better for him if he would." 

Fremont had refused to send reinforcements to Lyon, because his men 
were needed to defend Cairo. The junction of the Mississippi and Ohio 
rivers seemed more important than an outpost in southwest Missouri. 
He had sent additional troops to the Rolla railhead, where they could 
threaten Jeff Thompson and be drawn in quickly, if necessary, for a sud- 
den defense of St. Louis. He employed the potentially dangerous loafers 
in town to work on fortifications — expensive, yes, but cheaper to feed 
than fight them. He contracted with James B. Eads to build seven iron- 
clad gunboats, and he dispatched John Pope along the Hannibal and St. 
Joseph Railroad to crush out the independent ranger bands infesting 
northern Missouri. When Sturgis brought his shattered column in from 
Wilson's Creek, Fremont sent it to reinforce Pope. Major Schofield, 
knowing the deceased Lyon's intimacy with Frank Blair, called on the 


politician. Together, they went to see Fremont. Uniformed sentries stood 
on guard around the mansion, at the gateway, and in the halls. The base- 
ment had been converted into an armory. On the first floor sat lesser ex- 
ecutives at their desks. Upstairs, Fremont and his staff maintained their 
offices. The two visitors, screened by three sets of officials, were finally 
ushered before the general — after a delay which annoyed politician Blair, 
whose brother, in Lincoln's cabinet, had helped get the Personage's com- 

This involved procedure was Fremont efficiency — self -protection to 
which the general was entitled in order that he might accomplish the 
maximum amount of work. To him, Blair and Schofield were only a 
colonel and a major in his command. Feverishly full of projects, he told 
his guests of his plan to march south, retake Missouri and Arkansas. His 
operation was being systematically prepared. But while talking to Lyon's 
best friend and the martyr commander's adjutant, fresh from Wilson's 
Creek, Fremont neglected to say a word about the battle. Undoubtedly 
it was a bitter subject. 

The Blairs and the Bentons were the two most powerful antislavery 
families in Missouri. They had led the fight together, and for years had 
been intimate — visiting in one another's Washington and St. Louis 
homes. Now, Fremont felt his rank and seemed to be assuming full au- 
thority. The forceful Blair expected the co-operation he had received from 
Lyon, who also had ranked him in the army but recognized Blair's po- 
litical importance. Co-operation was Fremont's weakest characteristic. He 
had achieved success as a pathfinder among primitive people instead of 
among his peers. Neither Major Schofield nor Colonel Blair remonstrated 
with the major general, but the latter went down the stairs, after the inter- 
view, nursing resentment. 

As Fremont devoted weeks to the proper fashioning of his grandiose 
preparations, Senator Lane, having taken self-appointed command of the 
Kansas brigade in Fremont's department, pronounced the town of Fort 
Scott untenable in case of attack and set the men to work on a new forti- 
fication twelve miles away. He named it Fort Lincoln. The work was 
barely completed in late August when Price started north to retake the 
state with ten thousand Wilson's Creek veterans. Along the roads, farm 
boys joined the column bringing cherished guns, pet horses, and enthu- 


siasm for high adventure. Fremont, feeling the foundations of his depart- 
ment quake beneath his polished military boots, sat up all night working 
on a proclamation to stop the continued enlistments of Southern sympa- 
thizers in rebel forces. Early in the morning of August 30, 1861, he read 
to Jessie what he had written, got her approval, and handed the document 
to his adjutant. Word went out across the state and across the nation that 
Fremont had put Missouri under martial law. Men bearing arms with- 
out authority were to be court-martialed and shot. Slaves belonging to 
masters disloyal to the United States were to be freed. 

This emancipation proclamation, designed to quiet Missouri, excited 
the entire nation. The Northern abolition press praised Fremont's positive 
stand, but Lincoln, who wanted to hold the loyalty of other slaveholding 
border states, wrote privately to the Pathfinder, asking him to modify the 
decree's severity. M. JefT Thompson, in the swamps of southeast Missouri, 
issued a counterproclamation on September 2, 1861. He outdid his oppo- 
nent by announcing that for every man executed under Fremont's order, 
he would "hang, draw and quarter a minion of said Abraham Lincoln." 
Then, to demonstrate his cruelty, the Swamp Fox promptly hanged a 
horse thief, forded a bayou saddle-skirt deep, dashed into the town of 
Charleston, took $56,000 from the bank to finance his further operations, 
and disappeared into the watery wastes of Mingo and Nigger Wool 

The national excitement and the renewed disturbances in eastern Mis- 
souri drew attention from Price's threatening advance in the West. On 
the day before M. Jeff Thompson replied to Fremont, the left wing of 
Price's army was spied by Lane's men on Dry Wood Creek east of Fort 
Scott. Montgomery's regiment skirmished with them and withdrew into 
Kansas. Price did not follow. He was interested only in repossessing Mis- 
souri. A few captured rebels told Lane that Old Pap was heading first for 

This wealthy little town was the headquarters of Russell, Majors and 
Waddell's overland freighting business and the most important center of 
population between St. Louis and Kansas City. 

Lane, with only two thousand men, dared not turn and attack Price's 
ten thousand. Instead Lane sent a messenger galloping north to beg rein- 
forcements from Major W. E. Prince at Fort Leavenworth. Then, in 


Price's wake, Lane started north to indulge his men in a special kind of 
warfare which the Grim Chieftain believed suitable for the emergency. 

Meanwhile, Lane's message reached Major Prince on September 7, 
1 861. The major telegraphed Fremont. His wire was one of a series of 
annoyances which harassed the Pathfinder in rapid succession. First, 
Lincoln had censured him for his radical attempt to restore peace by 
threatening abolition. At the same time the President had taken five 
thousand of his much-needed troops East. Then, to cap the cumulating 
adversities, came Prince's wire announcing the advance of Price's ever- 
victorious army and the threat that the guerrilla bands north of the Mis- 
souri might join with him and perhaps take over the state. In desperation, 
Fremont wrote Lincoln that he would not alter the proclamation, and he 
sent Jessie hurrying to Washington to explain the situation to the Presi- 
dent in person — a futile act, for Lincoln replied to Fremont by canceling 
the emancipation proclamation. The general, in the meantime, ordered 
Pope and Sturgis to concentrate on Lexington and prevent its capture. 
He also ordered Lane to fall back on Fort Leavenworth. 

Colonel James A. Mulligan, at Jefferson City, a hundred and twenty- 
five miles downriver from Lexington, learned about Price's incursion at 
the time of the Dry Wood skirmish. As yet he did not know Price's des- 
tination. Perhaps he was headed for Jefferson City. The tall, dark-eyed 
Irishman had recently married and might be expected to wait in his com- 
fortable surroundings at the capital, but Mulligan was an excessively am- 
bitious Chicago politician. His sensitive and delicate features belied his 
brave and combative heart. 

The roads had been churned by rain into troughs of mush, but Mulli- 
gan ordered out his men and plodded away, hunting the enemy. Con- 
stantly his scouts sloshed in with nothing to report. Finally Price was 
located, sweeping north toward either Lexington or Kansas City. Mulli- 
gan headed for the former town and on the ninth day of his march saw 
the brick buildings of Lexington peeping over the green trees on the high- 
lands above the Missouri River. Mulligan ordered his regiment halted. 
Men broke ranks to wash their faces, brush mud from their clothes, pol- 
ish guns, and joke about the pretty girls who would admire their uni- 
forms as they marched briskly through town. 

The glittering column swung down the main street, the Stars and 


Stripes beside a green banner embroidered with a golden harp. The 
marching men watched for girls, noted the substantial buildings, some 
with grillwork shipped upriver from New Orleans. A colonnaded court- 
house stood on a green knoll, and yonder was the strongest bank in 
western Missouri with gold enough to whet the appetite of any invader. 
It was hard to believe that the fabulously wealthy firm of Russell, Majors 
and Waddell with their 6000 teamsters and 45,000 oxen was now bank- 
rupt. The extravagance of the Pony Express had finished it. That rich 
partnership and this rich town were notorious for working together in 
1856, searching steamboats, confiscating free-state settlers' guns. Let them 

North of Lexington, on a verdant campus overlooking the Missouri, 
stood the white-pillared Masonic College. The Irish brigade wheeled 
north to the academic gates. Here Mulligan found Colonel Thomas A. 
Marshall with a regiment of Illinois cavalry and three hundred and fifty 
home guards. The collegiate oaks had already been chopped down pre- 
paratory to fortifying the location. The two colonels compared commis- 
sions. Mulligan held seniority, thus giving the native-born countrymen 
another reason to complain about Lincoln's rule by foreigners — "Yer dam 
Dutchmen, yer Poles, Eyetalians, yer Swiss, Danes and French." As a 
matter of fact, only about a third of the garrison was Irish, but the force 
was soon joined by a German regiment from Kansas City under Colonel 
Everett Peabody, thus giving a strong foreign flavor to the whole. 

Mulligan selected the college buildings as his headquarters, requisi- 
tioned $900,000 from the bank, buried it under his tent, set his men point- 
ing the felled oaks into abatis, and sent a courier downriver to Fremont 
for reinforcements. The Pathfinder was as yet unprepared to take the of- 
fensive, having barely enough men to suppress the rebels in St. Louis. 
Moreover, his administration was being thwarted at every turn by Frank 
Blair, and it might be necessary to arrest his old friend for the good of the 
service. To do so would be a bold act which Fremont hesitated to take, 
but Blair's destructive criticism must be stopped. With his own head- 
quarters and the whole department in jeopardy, Fremont could send no 
more men. 

To Mulligan the situation looked bad. He had, all told, twenty-eight 
hundred soldiers to meet Price's ten thousand. The Irishman determined 


to fortify the seventeen acres around the college with heavy breastworks. 
The town, its fine courthouse, business block, and many mansions would 
be abandoned to the enemy. 

The elaborate work was hardly commenced on September n, 1861, 
when Price's van appeared south of town, halted, deployed a guard, and 
bivouacked. All night Mulligan's men worked feverishly with their 
spades. At dawn on September 12, before the day shift took over the 
shovels, Colonel Peabody rode out with three companies, burned the 
bridge over which the Southerners must come, and fired at their encamp- 
ment. The invaders withdrew, circled to the Independence road from the 
west, and in the afternoon felt out the defenses on that side. To meet them, 
Mulligan sent out six companies, which opened fire from lanes and hedge- 
rows. A Union battalion in the cemetery used the mounds and monu- 
ments as fortifications. 

Again the enemy withdrew, but the Federal soldiers noticed new regi- 
ments coming in hourlv from the south. During the afternon Henry Gui- 
bor — paroled at Camp Jackson — arrived with his battery which had 
made a name for itself at Wilson's Creek. Taking position, he blazed 
away with grape and homemade canister at the hedgerows. One shell ex- 
ploded near a group of Federal officers and sent them racing pell-mell 
into Lexington, where they drew rein, shamefacedly explaining that the 
noise had made their mounts unmanageable. 

Mulligan ordered a battery to reply to Guibor. A luckv shot hit one of 
his guns and exploded a caisson. Workmen threw down their shovels to 
cheer as the smoke mushroomed into the sky. 

Price had little ammunition in his van. He retired a third time to es- 
tablish camp at the fairgrounds and wait for his entire army before re- 
newing the fight. Hundreds of countrv people came to town on horse- 
back, in wagons, and on foot to watch the impending battle — see the 
"furriners get licked." They crowded the streets as at fair time, packed 
the taverns, slept in liverv stables and on the lawn before the ornate court- 

On the morning of September 13, 1S61, General Monroe M. Parsons 
sent a flag of truce to Mulligan. Parsons had started an active military 
career as a militia officer on the Missouri border in 1860. At Carthage 
and at Wilson's Creek he had gained deserved recognition. Now, as com- 


mander of Price's van, he asked for a cessation of hostilities to permit re- 
moving the wounded. Parsons reminded Mulligan that a similar courtesy 
had been allowed the Federals at Wilson's Creek. The Irishman acqui- 

Evidently Price felt no need to hurry, no fear of Fremont's converging 
troops. He placed each new regiment, as it arrived, in a circle around the 
college grounds. His men camped in the town streets, on residents' lawns, 
and in the churches. Federals, behind their fortifications, heard all the 
enemy bugle calls. They feared a surprise attack at night and moved from 
their tents to dugouts in the trenches. On Sunday, September 15, Father 
Thaddeus Butler said mass on the hillside beyond the college buildings. 
Then the men returned to their duties — rolling cartridges, shoveling dirt 
to strengthen breastworks. Supplies were running low and Mulligan cut 
rations in half. Especially unfortunate was the scarcity of horse feed for 
the large number of animals in the besieged ramparts. 

On September 17, 1861, Price's ammunition wagons arrived. The town 
was cleared for action. Houses in line of artillery fire were knocked down 
and all civilians were ordered to leave. Among them went Mrs. Mulli- 
gan, the nineteen-year-old bride of the commander out at the fortified 

The Federals watched Price's preparations and knew that the day of 
reckoning had come. Mulligan's long, waving hair and sweeping mus- 
tache appeared constantly above the fortifications. He watched the ene- 
my's advancing banners and gleaming guns, listened to the threatening 
tattoo of drums. General Rains posted his men east and southeast of the 
college. General Parsons deployed on Main Street and moved north within 
striking distance of the fortifications. Colonels B. A. Rives and John T. 
Hughes, the latter a kinsman of Price's and ex-clerk of the Kansas legis- 
lature, deployed a thin line of men through the tall weeds along the Mis- 
souri River below the bluff. Thus the college grounds were completely 
surrounded and the Federals cut oft from water. A steamboat, moored 
below the fortifications, was captured without resistance. In the ominous 
silence, Father Butler walked along the Federal embankments blessing 
the men. 

At 10 a.m. on September 18, with the sun beating down mercilessly, 
Price opened with sixteen guns. The concussion broke windows in town. 


Hiram Bledsoe had been wounded at Dry Wood and was not present, 
but the dull boom of OP Sacramento was recognized by people who had 
heard it thunder here in Lexington on many a Fourth of July. Under the 
bombardment General Rains moved his men forward, and as he passed 
the batteries, he offered a gold medal to the artilleryman who could shoot 
down the flag on the battlement ahead. Then, turning to an aide, he sent 
out word that the descending banner would be the cue for a general as- 
sault which would put his men ahead of any other division — optimistic 
braggadocio, for the flag was still flying at midmorning. 

Over on the river, the thin line of skirmishers complained about shots 
coming from a brick building two hundred and fifty yards outside the 
Federal battlements. A hospital flag flew from the structure, so it had been 
spared. Now a few rebel companies organized under the riverbank to 
rush and capture the hospital. At a given signal they scrambled up the 
slope, through weeds tall as a man. Here and there hidden mines ex- 
ploded, wounding some. The rebels skipped over or around the smoking 
craters, and stormed in the hospital's main entrance, up a circular stair, 
and down the halls. The building was a hospital, truly enough, with many 
sick and wounded in cots on the second floor, and in the basement a pack 
of huddled slaves. But the snipers had hidden or escaped. From the bal- 
cony and from roof gutters the invaders looked down into the college 
fortifications. What a place for sharpshooters to pick ofT Union officers! 

Mulligan, watching from the college, saw that the hospital must be re- 
taken if possible. He called for volunteers. The men looked at the two 
hundred and fifty yards of open ground between them and the well- 
defended building, with no cover but wild flowers. None volunteered. 
Mulligan strode down before his Montgomery Guards. He owed his suc- 
cess in politics and in war to fluent oratory, and now he delivered the 
speech of his life. Frankly, he said that the building must be taken and 
that he was asking his guards to do what others had refused to consider. 
Would they go? The Irishmen cheered, eager for the chance. A company 
of Peabody's Germans asked to go with them. 

The assault party rallied behind the sally port. Officers, about to die per- 
haps, drew their swords, and the companies marched out at quickstep, 
formed in line, and started at double time. Finally, as the distance short- 
ened, they broke into a mad rush. Shots from the hospital sprawled some 


of the men among the weeds, but the survivors stormed in the door and 
up the stairs shooting over the cots at fleeing figures in the wings. Three 
trapped Southerners surrendered and were bayoneted while under guard. 
Another climbed in bed with a wounded Illinois soldier and thus saved 
himself until the furor subsided. 

Almost exhausted from the charge and from the stifling heat in the hos- 
pital, the victors, finding no drinking water, fought among themselves 
for swigs from the bloody buckets used by surgeons to wash wounds. Thus 
disorganized and desperate, they were unprepared for the counterattack 
which drove them back to their fortifications at dark. 

During the night, Mulligan strode around his lines. His men had been 
driven from several other outposts besides the hospital. The seven hun- 
dred horses within his fortifications were suffering for food, and worst 
of all, his two cisterns of drinking water were almost empty. Horsemen 
had stolen most of it for their animals regardless of the men's need. Mul- 
ligan detailed men to dig wells. The river was only two hundred feet be- 
low, and two springs on the bluff outside his lines indicated a high water 
table. As the well diggers set to work, soldiers at a hundred fires molded 
bullets for tomorrow's fight. 

The next day, September 19, 1861, dawned hotter than ever. The water 
shortage behind the Union fortifications became acute, and the prospect 
of relief from Fremont seemed hopeless. Dead horses polluted the air with 
a sickening stench. Some men suffered from swollen tongues and cracked 
lips. The saltpeter in the powder tortured them every time they bit a car- 
tridge. Blood trickled down their chins. Then a sudden downpour 
brought temporary relief. Men wrung their saturated blankets over basins 
and sucked the healing water. Mulligan rode around the wet and shining 
earthworks, encouraging the men to hold out one more day. Surely rein- 
forcements would come from Fremont in St. Louis or from Lane in Kan- 
sas. The regiments under Pope and Sturgis north of the Missouri might 
arrive hourly. Mulligan did not know that, as he talked, Sturgis was 
across the river within fifteen miles of Lexington. He had detrained his 
men at Utica on the Hannibal and St. Joe Railroad, and while quarter- 
masters were impressing supply wagons for the march to Lexington, his 
boys raided neighboring apiaries for honey. Irate owners stormed into 
camp, claiming damages. Sturgis lined up his men, picked out those with 


honey on their beards — and then marched them away without punish- 
ment. He could hear cannonading ahead and needed every man for the 
fight. At the Missouri River bottom, where the road emerged from the 
uplands and dipped into lush corn lands, a Negro stepped out in the dirt 
road, hat in hand. 

"Ginral, don't go down dar. . . . Dey's captured de ferry, and dey 
knows you is comin', an' five thousand on 'em's hid in de woods by de 
river to kill ye." 

Sturgis, the regular, with the same caution he displayed at Wilson's 
Creek, wheeled to the right and marched to Kansas City. His decision 
seems justifiable, for General Parsons was waiting for him with an ade- 
quate force to ambush his six companies. However, two other Union regi- 
ments and a battalion totaling in all thirty-three hundred men were 
within a day's march. Lacking communications, each unit feared to come 
in alone, and Lexington was abandoned to the enemy. 

Mulligan knew nothing about the failure of the relief columns. Big 
guns pounded endlessly at his fortifications, geysers of sticks and dirt 
spraying along the line. Several incendiary hot shot thumped into the col- 
lege rooms. Men with shovels saved the building by throwing the hot 
balls out the windows. 

Meanwhile, the Federals' bombardment set several houses in town on 
fire. One cannon ball chipped away part of a column on the courthouse. 
Price's men laughed at a farmer volunteer who joined their lines with gun 
and dinner pail. Taking a position in sight of the parapet, he shot every 
head he could see above the embankment until noon, then retired, ate 
lunch, smoked his pipe, and returned to the grisly job. Another citizen 
volunteered a novel idea to end the siege. Why not advance to the enemy 
position behind a movable breastworks of hemp bales? Price thought 
the device worth trying, and wagons lined up before warehouses. 
All afternoon bales were hauled down to the river to be drenched, then 
up the hill to the hospital. During the night of September 19, 1861, the 
bales were arranged like a wall extending in two wings from the brick 

Next morning the Federals saw a dark barrier lying like a snake across 
the ridges and hollows. As they watched, the line twitched and moved 
forward, crushing down weeds and sunflowers. It parted for trees and 


joined together after passing them. Men with levers were obviously pry- 
ing the line forward. Sputtering rifles warned the Federals to beware. 

Mulligan called up his artillery and ordered hot shot fired at the 
twitching line, but the wet bales did not burn. Occasionally a direct hit 
sent a bundle bouncing, but the gap was quickly filled. Absalom Grimes 
of the Ralls County Rangers, in action now, reported seeing a captain 
knocked flat by the impact of a cannon ball against the hemp bale he was 
hiding behind, but most hits rocked the compressed bundles harmlessly. 
Mulligan sent out a few daredevils to charge the line, but they failed to 
take it. Nothing he could do stopped the slow and relentless advance. 

Sudden shouting at another part of the line attracted Mulligan's atten- 
tion. At several places white flags appeared, contrary to his orders. Price 
sent over a courier to arrange the truce. Mulligan sent him back saying 
that he knew of no white flag unless Price had raised it. Then, on inquiry, 
Mulligan learned that one of his majors, who had twice been threatened 
with death if he dared surrender, had waved a handkerchief on a ramrod. 
Other discouraged men had done likewise. There was no doubt about 
the offer to surrender. 

Mulligan called his top officers together and asked their decision. They 
voted to quit the fight — four against two. The Irishman dispatched the 
verdict to Price and all firing ceased. Price acknowledged the surrender 
and asked why the United States flag was not hauled down. Mulligan 
replied that his Irishmen had nailed it to the pole. This satisfied the 
serene and white-haired Price. He ordered troops formed for the capitula- 
tion. All enemy muskets were to be stacked. Officers and men were to 
keep side arms, personal property and horses — magnanimous provisions 
typical of Price. 

Dutifully the defeated men emerged from the battlements and gave up 
their guns. A captain of the Thirteenth Missouri offered his sword to his 
brother on Price's staff. Meanwhile, inside the fortifications, the Irish 
regimental band began to play defiantly. General Rains looked inquir- 
ingly at Price, but the commander smiled indulgently. The irate Irish 
were marching and countermarching around their green and gold stand- 
ard. In due time they, too, came out the gate, stacked their arms, and the 
siege was over. 

The rebels had captured Marshall, Mulligan, and Peabody (the two 


latter wounded), the entire army, a thousand horses (suffering for feed 
and water), a hundred wagons, five pieces of artillery, three thousand 
muskets, and all that was left of the commissary. Their losses amounted 
to only twenty-five killed and seventy-two wounded. Price invited the 
vanquished officers to a champagne dinner, and immediately opened ne- 
gotiations to exchange the prisoners for Missourians taken by Lyon at 
Camp Jackson. As yet, Price held no commission from the Confederate 
government, so his negotiations were an anomaly, but a cancellation of 
paroles was arranged. Then, after dallying two weeks in Lexington, Price 
ordered his army to march south. The crops were already harvested, so 
there was no necessity for a supply line. Field corn — sustaining if not 
appetizing — could be grated into meal by rubbing the hard kernels on 
sheets of tin roughened with nail holes. General Price endeared himself 
to the men by living on the same harsh rations. They also admired his 
chivalrous treatment of wounded Colonel Mulligan and his bride, who 
had come back after the surrender. The couple accompanied the column 
in Price's private carriage and had their tent pitched near the com- 
mander's at night. Undoubtedly the two politicians had much in common. 
A few complained that Price was much too benevolent for a military man. 
The North wailed over the defeat louder than it had after Wilson's 
Creek. Fremont was accused of sacrificing Mulligan as he did Lyon the 
previous month. Critics complained that he had twenty-five thousand 
men available and ten days to get them to Lexington — a statement ig- 
noring the necessity of troops in other theaters. The fact remains, how- 
ever, that Fremont failed to force available troops, under Sturgis, Pope, 
and Prince, to strike Price in the rear and divert him from the siege. 
Perhaps the Pathfinder's mind was overly harassed by the quarrel with 
Blair, for during the height of battle at Lexington, he arrested his old 
family friend. Critics also asked what had become of Senator Jim Lane 
and his new kind of warfare which had promised so much in this emer- 
gency ? 

Osceola, Zagoni, and Fremont's Recall 

Lane had obeyed Fremont's order to march north, but instead of trying 
to overtake Price's big army, he decided to destroy all towns along his 
wake which had welcomed the rebels. Lane told his eager followers, 
"Everything disloyal, from a Shanghai rooster to a Durham cow, must 
be cleaned out." His chaplains even plundered furnishings for the churches 
in Lawrence. Regardless of Lincoln's modification of Fremont's emancipa- 
tion order, Lane distributed copies of the original as he marched. 

His progress northward was interrupted by the report of a raid on the 
town of Humboldt, forty miles west of Fort Scott, on September 8, 1861. 
The Grim Chieftain detached two hundred men in charge of James G. 
Blunt, a Kansas doctor who had been associated with John Brown's un- 
derground railroad. Riding west to chastise the raiders, Blunt met young 
Preston Plumb, a candidate for the legislature now, with nineteen men 
from Emporia, also seeking the marauders. The companies combined 
and overtook the raiders at the Quapaw Agency. In a short skirmish they 
killed several men, including the leader, who was identified as John 
Mathews, Indian trader and Osage squawman. In Mathew's pocket, 
Lane's men found an order from Ben McCulloch to enroll the Quapaw 
Indians under the Confederate banner. So the South had stooped to win- 
ning the war with the scalping knife! The North screamed resentment — 
all but Jim Lane. He had been considering doing the same thing, himself. 

Marching leisurely northward, distributing the barred Fremont procla- 
mation, Lane's army came to Osceola, ninety miles south of the Missouri 
River, on September 22, 1861 — just two days after Price had occupied 
Lexington. Osceola, with a population of two or three thousand, was an 
important wholesale distributing point at the head of navigation on the 


Osage River. Lane's advance cavalry complained that townsmen had shot 
at them. To retaliate, the horsemen thundered down the main street firing 
indiscriminately. Montgomery's regiment marched in behind them. Soon 
Lane himself arrived. Inspecting warehouses while his men reveled, Lane 
found tons of lead, kegs of powder, and a large supply of cartridge paper. 
Could this be Price's depot? His foraging men rolled out barrels of 
brandy, 3000 sacks of flour, 500 pounds of sugar and molasses, 50 sacks of 
coffee, a quantity of bacon, and camp equipment — all suitable for Lane's 

Lane impressed teams and wagons from the livery barns and neighbor- 
ing farms. One set of men loaded the supplies, while a drumhead court- 
martial sentenced and shot nine citizens. Then Lane announced that 
Osceola must be "knocked into Herculaneum." The courthouse, with its 
records, and all but three of the houses were burned to the ground. Lane 
drove out of town with three hundred of his men in wagons — too drunk 
to march. In addition to the supplies, Lane's plunder included 350 horses 
and mules, 400 cattle, 200 Negroes, and a fine carriage which the Grim 
Chieftain sent to his family in Lawrence. The rear guard nailed an Amer- 
ican flag to a tree in front of the charred wreckage of Senator Waldo P. 
Johnson's house. He had been a colleague of Lane's in Washington, but a 
member of the opposition party. The property destroyed or appropriated 
was reckoned to be worth a million dollars — ample compensation for the 
Southerners' capture of Lexington, according to Lane's calculations. 

Lane's reputation galloped ahead of his column. Negroes by the dozen 
joined him at every crossroad, shouting "Bress de Lord." Some brought 
fine horses and good wagons, evidently taken from their masters' planta- 

Major W. E. Prince, in Leavenworth, learned about Lane's depreda- 
tions, and wrote him that he hoped the looting might be stopped. Gover- 
nor Robinson appealed directly to General Fremont. Lane feared trouble 
and whipped away from his column to harangue the people in his favor. 
Rallying audiences at Leavenworth and other Kansas towns, he defended 
his actions as the quickest way to stamp out treason. He urged the enlist- 
ment of more jayhawkers and also Indians to sweep across the South with 
fire and tomahawk. 

Lane's oratory pleased the radicals in both East and West. Righteous 


adventurers flocked to his banner. John Brown, Jr., with sixty "sharp- 
shooters" eager to join Lane, passed through Chicago singing, "John 
Brown's Body." The idea of an Indian expedition kindled Eastern imagi- 
nations. Harper s Weekly printed a picture of Lane and his red men. The 
Grim Chieftain wrote Lincoln that ample troops were available but that 
Governor Robinson was working "in season and out of season" to ruin 
his plans for victory. He urged the President to sidetrack both Robinson 
and Fremont by creating a new Department of Kansas, and he offered to 
resign his seat in the Senate if given command. 

Lane's army of twenty-five or thirty hundred men encamped outside 
Kansas City. Their reputation attracted the curious. Soldiers from Pope's 
army — the troops who had concentrated to save Mulligan but failed to 
do so — visited the notorious riffraff. Lieutenant Seymour D. Thompson 
of the Third Iowa, reported Lane to be "the last man we would have 
taken for a general. He had on citizens' pants, a soldier's blouse, and a 
dilapidated white hat. He rolled under his dark brows a pair of piercing 
eyes, and between his jaws a huge quid of tobacco. ..." A New Yor\ 
Times reporter described the Grim Chieftain as being full of rollicking 
humor, a "Joe Bagstock Nero fiddling and laughing over the burning of 
some Missouri Rome." 

Visitors described Lane's army as "a ragged, half -armed, diseased, mu- 
tinous rabble, taking votes whether any troublesome or distasteful order 
should be obeyed or defied." The men boasted about plundering. All 
seemed to be hard up for cash and eagerly offered to sell rebel caps for 
souvenirs at ten cents each. Negroes and Indians mingled with the white 
rowdies. Fall Leaf, the Delaware from the reservation above Lawrence, 
had joined with fifty-four red men dressed in a mixture of savage and 
civilized attire. Still speaking broken English, this Hercules of an Indian, 
who had brought back the nuggets which started the Pikes Peak gold 
rush, stalked proudly through the throng. Thirty Wyandottes also en- 
listed as a company in Lane's army. 

Lane issued an order prohibiting his men from appropriating private 
property for personal use, but few obeyed him. One party of travelers on 
good horses was robbed at the edge of his camp, and the leader of the 
thieves, according to a newspaper account, was Montgomery himself. 

As these jayhawkers roistered around Kansas City, Sterling Price 


marched his army leisurely southward, living off the country. The roads 
became excessively muddy, and the horses contracted "grease heel," com- 
pelling their riders to dismount and lead them. Proslavery farmers along 
the road greeted the column hospitably, treated them to pitchers of cold 
buttermilk from their springhouses, invited them to join games and 
dances. Charles Quantrill, who had followed the command with his slant- 
eyed crew, deserted with his gang somewhere on this southern march. 
A man of liquor and women, reckless when in command, he fretted under 
the disciplined routine of a large army. The distant border offered more 
excitement than he could find in his homey farm-boy cavalcade. Most of 
the other volunteers followed Old Pap with childlike devotion. They 
wrote home about their patriotic emotions, whistled at the girls in coun- 
try towns, and shouted at those who waved from farm porches. Private 
Grimes described a jolly "church social" down near the famous battle- 
field of Carthage. In a game called King's Chair, one of Absalom's com- 
rades volunteered to be "it." He was ushered into a room full of people 
who could hardly keep their faces straight. The gallant volunteer was 
asked to sit down on what appeared to be a sheet-covered bench between 
two very pretty girls. As a matter of fact there was no bench. The girls 
were sitting on opposite ends of a sheet stretched over a washtub between 
two stools. As the soldier sat down, the girls stood up amid shouts of 
merriment as the victim jackknifed into the water. Ab Grimes laughed 
until his sides ached. Then another game was suggested. A charming 
brunette offered to wager Ab a kiss against a dime that he could not 
balance her ring on his forehead and toss it into a funnel in his belt. Ab 
felt confident that he could win the bet — but let him tell what happened: 

While my head was pushed back one of those sweet, gentle girls whom 
I had admired so highly, poured a half-gallon dipper of cold water into 
that funnel. . . . There was but one place for the water to go and it 
went there without delay. 

Next day the boys marched away, their heads dizzy with memories of 
laughing feminine faces. In the evening Ab and his friends met more 
Confederates marching south by another road. Both columns exchanged 
funny experiences and trudged on together. 

Price's leisurely retreat gave Frank Blair renewed opportunity to blame 


Fremont's administration. The Pathfinder had released him from arrest 
and Frank determined to get a full measure of revenge. It was said of 
the Blairs that when they went in for a fight, they came out with a funeral. 
Jessie Fremont had been unsuccessful in her interview with Lincoln, and 
Fremont saw that he was losing favor. Maliciously, Blair and his asso- 
ciates publicized the Pathfinder's shortcomings. They exaggerated his 
guilt in the Wilson's Creek and Lexington defeats, even blamed him for 
Pope's failure to quell Mart Green, the guerrilla, in north Missouri. Fre- 
mont was censured for coming tardily to St. Louis after his appointment. 
Blair described his extravagances in constructing useless fortifications 
and scoffed at his military panoply. Fremont was also accused of employ- 
ing men of questionable reputation, of building up a political machine — 
a rival to Blair's! Many of the Pathfinder's California friends had come 
to St. Louis seeking cushioned chairs and had found them. Most notorious 
were Colonel I. C. Wood, who had screened visitors from the Presence, 
and Captain L. Haskell, chief of the St. Louis police. Several of the big 
Eastern newspapers which had supported the Pathfinder turned against 
him, especially the powerful New Yor\ Times and the Herald. 

Only one thing could save Fremont. He must win a smashing military 
victory. His army, after three months' training, was in the pink of condi- 
tion — so Fremont thought. He wrote Winfield Scott, the commanding 
general in Washington : "I am taking the field myself, and hope to destroy 
the enemy either before or after the junction of forces under McCulloch. 
Please notify the President immediately." But Lincoln had already made 
up his mind that Fremont was unsuited for his job. Scott replied tersely 
that Lincoln "expects you to repair the disaster at Lexington without loss 
of time." The President also sent Adjutant General Lorenzo Thomas and 
Secretary of War Simon Cameron to St. Louis with a signed order for 
Fremont's removal. Fremont knew that they were coming, and when they 
arrived in St. Louis, he had left to join his army. Just before boarding 
the train for Jefferson City, he had rearrested Frank Blair. 

Fremont's army of forty thousand men was distributed in five divisions 
with planned supply lines at strategic points across Missouri. General 
David Hunter's division headquartererd at Versailles; John Pope went to 
Boonville, Franz Sigel to Sedalia, Asboth to the terminus of the Pacific 
Railroad at Tipton, John McKinstry to Syracuse. The five divisions were 


all in communication and could work together. In addition, Senator Lane 
and Brigadier General of Volunteers Sturgis had approximately five thou- 
sand men on the Kansas border. 

Such an army should be able to defeat anything Price could muster, 
but the campaign had flaws. Elderly General Hunter, Lincoln's aide on 
his inaugural trip to Washington, had personal ambitions which might 
be helped by Fremont's failure. John Pope had been quietly thwarting 
the Pathfinder all summer, and his failure to relieve Lexington still 
rankled in the general's heart. McKinstry had been accused of diverting 
the few available reinforcements from Lyon at Wilson's Creek — an over- 
sight at the root of Fremont's unfortunate situation. Lane, on the border, 
was always undependable to the verge of insubordination. He might ap- 
peal orders directly to the people. Only the foreigners, Sigel and Asboth, 
seemed completely loyal, and it was at Asboth's headquarters in Tipton 
that General Thomas and Secretary Cameron overtook Fremont. Fall 
rains had made the roads almost impassable, but the inspectors found 
Fremont's engineers prepared to bridge or corduroy as required. The effi- 
cient Pathfinder had anticipated every emergency, and the soldiers' morale 
was high. They merrily promised themselves Thanksgiving dinner in 
Memphis and Christmas in New Orleans. Subordinate officers praised 
their commander and pronounced his emancipation the quickest way to 
restore loyalty in Missouri. 

Secretary of War Cameron showed Fremont the order for his removal. 
The Pathfinder begged for time to demonstrate the power of his army 
after months of training. Cameron agreed to give them a chance, put the 
order back in his pocket, and returned to Washington, but Thomas pub- 
lished a scathing report which delighted the Blairs. Fifteen of Fremont's 
ranking officers sent a round-robin letter to Lincoln commending their 

Left to himself again, Fremont ordered a general advance. His five 
columns were close enough to consolidate within twenty-four hours in 
case resistance was encountered. On the Osage, below the charred re- 
mains of Osceola, the bridge was gone. Fremont's expert technicians con- 
structed a new eight-hundred-foot span in thirty-six hours, and the column 
continued. "New Orleans and home again by summer," soldiers shouted 
with glee, but Fre^pjont, in spite of his men's military confidence, knew 


that personal enemies were plotting constantly against him. Worrying 
about these conspiracies but outwardly calm, he rode beside his ten-year- 
old son, who dressed gaily in the full uhlan uniform of the guard. Bay- 
onets and sabers radiated from the Presence. The air behind him was 
fragrant with the smell of shoe polish and saddle soap. This pageantry ap- 
pealed to his military followers, but farmers along the road and volunteers 
in his army who had enlisted to uphold democracy began to feel that 
Price's simplicity was more American. 

On October 24, 1861, the elaborate column came within sixty miles of 
Springfield. Rumor said that the rebel legislature was in session down 
there and that Price guarded the place with only four hundred men. Octo- 
ber 25 was the anniversary of the charge of the Light Brigade at Balaclava. 
Major Zagoni asked permission for the guard to celebrate the great day by 
a surprise attack on the rebel capital. His men were eager to belie their 
reputation as "parlor pets" in fancy uniforms and kid gloves. Even their 
glossy horses had been pointed out as toys. 

The country ahead was being spied upon by Major F. J. White with a 
squadron of some two hundred United States Prairie Scouts scattered in 
small parties across the countryside. Fremont agreed to let the guardsmen 
go, if they would take White and his scouts along. 

At 8:30 p.m. on October 24, Zagoni and his men rode south. Fremont's 
son stayed behind to nurse a bruise from his horse's kick. Halfway to 
Springfield they came to the scouts' camp. The combined force now num- 
bered three hundred and fifty. Zagoni waited two hours to rest his horses 
and muster the scouts. Then they all set off in the night. Major White, be- 
ing ill, said that he would follow in a carriage when well enough. Shortly 
after dawn the column surprised an enemy foraging party and captured all 
but one man — who galloped furiously away toward Springfield. Zagoni 
knew now that all hope of a surprise attack was gone. Moreover, the pris- 
oners told him that Springfield contained at least two thousand soldiers. 
To attack them openly was folly, but to return without fighting on the 
anniversary of the charge at Balaclava and be taunted by the men who 
had called him a parlor pet was more than the proud Hungarian could 
stand. Price would expect him on the north road. An attack from the west 
might catch the Missourian unprepared. Zagoni sent a courier back to 
Fremont requesting ample reinforcements for him to fall back on if re- 


pulsed. Then the Hungarian wheeled his column to the right and galloped 
away seeking the road to Springfield from the west. He had completely 
forgotten Major White, who convalesced and drove along the north road 
until he entered the enemy lines and was imprisoned. 

Zagoni's guard reached the new road without being stopped. His guide 
said that Springfield was very close now. The highway ahead skirted a 
quarter of a mile of dense woods, then came to open fields on both sides. 
At the left the meadows sloped down to a brook — the headwaters of 
Wilson's Creek. On the hill beyond stood Springfield. Zagoni ordered his 
resplendent column into line. Riding before them, he explained that the 
hour had come. The odds were at least five to one. Let all cowards with- 
draw now. "We have been called holiday soldiers for the pavements of St. 
Louis," he shouted in his quaint accent. "Today we will show that we are 
soldiers for the battle. Your watchword shall be 'Fremont and the Union.' 
Draw saber! By the right flank — quick trot — march!" 

The men swept past the woods, their uniforms gay as the autumn foli- 
age. Vines and underbrush screened the view toward town. As they en- 
tered the fenced lane between the open fields, a volley from the left 
tumbled seven horses in a space of twenty feet. The entire column halted 
in confusion, mounts bumping together, ranks of four intermingling. The 
enemy stood at the edge of the timber beyond the fence at the left, safe 
from the horsemen. Zagoni waved his saber in the air and spurred down 
the lane through a flank fire from the woods. With him raced the sur- 
vivors of the first company. Those behind them returned to the protection 
of the woods. As Zagoni spurred along the lane, he noticed a gap in the 
fence on the left, bounded through it and down the slope to the brook. 
In the hollow, out of sight of the enemy, the first troop drew rein. A rider- 
less horse, which had followed, whinnied frantically, turned, and raced 
back, bridle reins flying in the wind. 

At the edge of the woods the second and third troops had ventured out 
on foot to tear down the fence for a proper cavalry charge. Seeing their 
commander aligning his troop out of rifle range along the brook below 
them, they ran the gauntlet down to him, the loose horse following again 
with flapping stirrups. White's scouts, at the rear, could see little of what 
was happening in the confusion. Some of them joined the race to the 


brook; others stayed in the protection of the woods. Along the brook, the 
three troops of the guard and part of the scouts, re-formed. The enemy 
waited out of sight on the hill above. All firing stopped. "They have dis- 
charged their pieces — don't give them time to load again," Zagoni 
shouted, and led a charge up the hill. The solid rank of Confederates 
scattered before the oncoming horsemen. Some backed away as they 
loaded their guns. Others made the fatal mistake of turning to run, thus 
enabling the enemy to ride them down and saber their skulls. With little 
opposition the guard galloped into Springfield. A Southern lieutenant, 
cut off from his men, refused to surrender. "He was a brave man," Zagoni 
reported. "For that reason I felt some pity to kill him." 

On the new courthouse flagpole the guard raised their banner. Un- 
horsed guardsmen rallied to it. Prisoners were brought in. Zagoni mus- 
tered his men and inspected the wounded. He censured a bugler who had 
failed to blow a call when ordered. The musician, a Frenchman, dis- 
played his instrument with the mouthpiece shot away. Major Zagoni's 
own tunic had been ripped across the breast by a bullet. One of his 
privates had received a ball through the "blacking box" in his kit but was 
unhurt. Another had been stung by a bullet that penetrated coat, vest, 
and shirt but did not break the skin. A third lad was shot through the 
nose. "My boy," Zagoni said to him, "I would give anything for that 

A hundred and seven Confederates were reported killed — an exag- 
geration, perhaps, but their loss seems to have been greater than Zagoni's. 
Of the hundred and fifty guardsmen in the charge, fifteen were killed, 
twenty-seven wounded, and ten missing. 

At dark the major decided it best to leave town before the enemy came 
back in force. Taking $4,040 in gold from the bank, he abandoned his 
wounded and dismounted men, then rode north. At Three Mounds 
Prairie he met Colonel Eugene Carr with eight troops of cavalry, coming 
from Fremont to relieve him. Zagoni's guard had ridden eighty-five miles, 
having stopped only to rest and feed the horses. 

Fremont, with his vast army, came on at a slower pace, entering Spring- 
field two days later without opposition. The general sent heroic dispatches 
announcing a great victory — atonement at last for Bull Run, Wilson's 


Creek, Lexington, and Ball's Bluff (a recent Northern defeat back in 
Virginia). Surely this would offset the criticism being poured constantly 
into Lincoln's ears. 

Establishing headquarters in the brick building formerly occupied by 
Lyon, Fremont watched his army divisions march in, day and night. Lane 
and Sturgis both arrived from Kansas. The Grim Chieftain's men were 
loaded with plunder, and hundreds of freed Negroes loafed around his 
camp. General Fremont recognized Fall Leaf, who had guided him on 
exploring expeditions. 

A great city of tents sheltering over thirty thousand men rose around 
Springfield. Smoke from thousands of campfires floated in Indian summer 
haze above the treetops. Members of the guard prowled up and down the 
slope where they had made their charge, telling and retelling personal ex- 

Fremont renewed his magnificent parades. Frank Blair and his threats 
seemed far away. With the guard, resplendent as imperial uhlans, the 
Pathfinder rode out to Wilson's Creek battlefield. He had at last retrieved 
the territory won by the ragged little "captain." The key to Missouri now 
lay once more in Federal hands. Price, down at Neosho, eighty miles 
away, tried feebly to maintain his government by firing a hundred-gun 
salute to announce the convening of the rebel legislature. Both houses 
lacked quorums, but with alleged proxies an ordinance of secession was 
passed, and General Rains was elected to the Confederate Senate. Price, 
still quarreling with McCulloch, urged him to come to Missouri and help 
fight Fremont. The Texan insisted that the Pathfinder be lured into 
Arkansas. In the open country north and east of Pea Ridge the Federals 
might be trapped and annihilated. 

Fremont, in Springfield, understood the game being played against 
him. He knew that Price had insufficient men to strike alone and that 
many of them would refuse to leave the state and fight in Arkansas. Thus 
the two armies could be fought separately. Everything seemed to be turn- 
ing to his advantage. 

On the evening of November 2, 1861, Fremont's plans were suddenly 
changed. All his divisions but Hunter's had come in. Fremont sat writing 
at a long table in his tent when a messenger presented himself, and de- 
livered a letter. The general frowned as he read it. Then the messenger 


ripped an order that had been sewed in his coat and handed it to Fre- 
mont. The general glanced at the paper, slammed it on the table, glared at 
the courier, and demanded, "Sir, how did you get admission into my 

Fremont called in his division commanders and showed them the or- 
der relieving him of command and appointing General Hunter — who 
had not yet arrived — in his place. Lincoln, with characteristic caution, had 
sent the order with instructions that it be withheld in case Fremont had 
fought a winning battle, was in personal command in battle, or was in 
the immediate presence of an enemy. General Asboth offered to resign 
at once. Sigel did, too, then changed his mind — another retreat. Osterhaus 
ground the point of his scabbard into the gravel. Soon the news spread 
through the camp. Soldiers raged with resentment. As schoolboys they had 
been taught to revere the great explorer and refused to see him deposed. 
Indignation meetings were called around open fires. Officers who had 
been quarreling over military preferment forgot their differences. Whole 
companies threatened to throw down their arms. A dozen bands began 
to serenade Fremont, all at the same time. 

General Fremont ordered the bands hushed. The men must submit. 
During the evening a hundred and ten officers, including every brigadier, 
came to Fremont's tent. They begged to be led against the enemy at 
once, and thus invalidate the order. Fremont agreed to wait one more day 
for Hunter. Then, if he had not appeared, they would march. All next 
day plans were drawn up for a battle. Lyon's tactics at Wilson's Creek 
were to be repeated. Sigel and Lane were to circle and attack from the 
rear, Asboth would march in from the east, McKinstry and Pope from 
the north. Soldiers rehearsed for this movement, actually believed that the 
enemy had come and a battle was imminent. But the Pathfinder knew 

After dark, Hunter arrived and the elderly brown-wigged general rode 
to Fremont's tent to assume command. The Pathfinder explained the plan 
for attack in the morning, gave Hunter the file of orders which had been 
issued, and withdrew. At Sturgis's tent he stopped to clip the stitches on his 
shoulder straps saying, "When I take these off I will be equal to any of 
them" — "God knows I never prized them much." To Jessie in St. 
Louis he wrote that the order reached him when in face of the enemy. 


Hunter, he said, had arrived in the night after the order to march had 
been given. 

In the morning Fremont rode away toward Rolla with his guard and 
a few others. The months of worry had ended in the worst possible way. 
Yet the final decision came as a relief. His companions noted that the 
deposed commander seemed almost gay as he cantered along. Rumor 
whispered that he had challenged Hunter to a duel, but no sign of un- 
happiness showed on his face this morning. In St. Louis snow was falling 
and sleighs jingled along the streets. He was met by Jessie and a throng 
of admirers. Called on for a speech, he was reported to have maligned 
Lincoln "as weak and imbecile." With his wife and two staff members he 
entrained for New York, evoking much interest from passengers. 

General Hunter was a very different man from Fremont — a plain, 
dark-complexioned soldier with the calm, Oriental air of a mandarin, and 
a dyed mustache that curled down around the corners of his solemn 
mouth. He had served at Fort Dearborn soon after graduating from West 
Point and while there married the sister of John H. Kinzie, pioneer Chi- 
cagoan. Hunter's personal habits were frugal. He dressed in the regula- 
tion double-breasted military coat buttoned neatly to the old-fashioned 
linen stock around his neck, and rode about the encampment with one 
orderly. Ascertaining that no enemy was concentrated nearby, he ordered 
a council of war on November 7, 1861. The assembled generals agreed that 
Price's army was at least seventy-five miles away, but in case the Federals 
withdrew, the Southerners would retake the country. Some officers sug- 
gested that the situation might be remedied by adopting the "Lane policy." 
At every village an American flag should be erected with the warning to 
residents: "Let that flag come down and your town will go up in smoke 
like Osceola." 

Such severe medicine was not acceptable to regular army men or to 
many of the Eastern volunteers. Hunter would not countenance it and 
ordered the retreat north in three columns — one under Sigel to Rolla, 
one under Pope to Sedalia. The third under Sturgis and Lane marched 
north along the Missouri border. Sigel pronounced the retreat "an out- 
rage without parallel in history." 

Union people along the way knew that the Southerners would take 
revenge on their farms. For self -protection they joined the columns by 


hundreds. Other refugees flocked to St. Louis ahead of the army. Men, 
barefooted and in smocks, women shivering with children under dirty 
shawls, claimed to have been driven from their cabins by the rebels. With 
this pitiful horde came news of Hunter's retreat, and some St. Louisans 
prophesied a collapse of Federal authority. Wealthy women even dared 
drive downtown displaying Confederate flags in their carriage windows. 

A different story followed in the wake of Lane's column. When planters 
laughed at him for retreating, their plantations crackled up in flames. At 
every crossroads Negroes waited to join his procession. Sturgis sternly 
kept slaves out of his lines and restored them to their masters. Lane wel- 
comed them and soon had all his foragers could feed. He organized the 
Negroes into a brigade under his three chaplains. A wagon train a mile 
long carried their children and furniture. Old muskets that would not 
shoot added a martial appearance to the colored cavalcade. 

Lane ordered his "Black Brigade" to leave the column, march west to 
Kansas and help harvest the fall crops. Singing under a "moon with her 
half filled horn," they marched seventeen miles the first night. Glory, 
glory, hallelujah! At Dry Wood Creek, six miles from the Kansas line, 
they camped to forage for corn and kill a "traitor's" beef. Feasting until 
almost daylight, they were interrupted by a Negro woman exclaiming, 
"There are streaks of light." Freedom for all men was dawning in the 
east, and the Negroes crowded the road to be on their way. The rising 
sun illuminated the distant hills of Kansas. A free state! The slaves surged 
forward with another song. One of the chaplains thought that the demon- 
stration "must have equalled the shouts of Israel after the passage of the 
Red Sea." The Reverend Hugh Fisher halted his section and rode before 
the ragged Negro multitude. Standing up in his stirrups, he raised his 
hand for silence. "In the name of the Constitution of the United States," 
he boomed, "the Declaration of Independence and the authority of Gen- 
eral James H. Lane, I proclaim you forever free." 

Sturgis was outraged at this violation of military orders to protect pri- 
vate property. He censured Lane for disobeying regulations. The Grim 
Chieftain promised repeatedly to stop plundering and freeing slaves but 
only chuckled when it continued. His one great interest seemed to be a 
giant jayhawking expedition to the gulf. 

Lincoln replaced Hunter on November 19, 1861, with a younger man. 


General Henry M. Halleck was a West Point graduate, an owl-eyed 
scholar with bulging forehead and receding chin. Like Fremont, he was a 
furious worker, though very different from him in other ways. Then Lin- 
coln carved from the old command a new Department of Kansas — a 
division which Lane had wanted. However, instead of assigning it to the 
Grim Chieftain, the President appointed Hunter to the new post. In high 
dudgeon Lane returned to his seat in the Senate. 

General Halleck moved into Fremont's St. Louis headquarters. He 
prided himself on issuing more orders and devising more plans than any- 
one else. He taxed wealthy Confederate sympathizers to support the refu- 
gees who continued to come in from the South. He housed the homeless 
in mansions owned by disloyal citizens. At the same time he scoffed at the 
possibility of Price's invading north Missouri again. General William 
Tecumseh Sherman, on an inspection trip to Halleck's department, 
warned the commander that Price was coming, sure as death and taxes. 
Halleck wrote his wife that the general must be touched with insanity. 

Then Halleck was rudely jarred from his academic complacency by a 
report that Price had reoccupied Missouri as far north at Osceola. A thou- 
sand of his men had even dared march to Lexington and help ferry re- 
cruits for the Confederacy who had enlisted north of the Missouri River. 

To get Price out of the state, Halleck gave the command of southwest 
Missouri to Brigadier General Samuel S. Curtis, an Iowa congressman 
with military experience and a record for engineering competence. The 
assignment was becoming more difficult daily, for the Confederacy real- 
ized the importance of Missouri. On December 27, 1861, Jeff Davis's newly 
appointed Secretary of War, Judah P. Benjamin, wrote General Braxton 
Bragg that the state had become of "supreme importance to us." Then, 
without warning, hundreds of ragged and destitute Indians appeared 
along the Kansas border. The starving red men claimed that the slave- 
holding members of their tribes had driven them from Indian Territory. 
What did this mean? Could Price and McCulloch be going ahead with 
the plan to enlist Indians to invade the North? 

The Five Nations Secede 

J ohn ross, principal chief of the Cherokee, paced back and forth in the 
handsomely furnished withdrawing room of Rose Cottage, his beautiful 
home near Park Hill, Indian Territory. He was a small, dignified man 
with the suave, shrewd expression of New York's political wirepuller 
Thurlow Weed — and with a career behind him fully as brilliant as 
Weed's. John Ross's seventy-two years of life had known much violence, 
many great negotiations, and also great material success — attested by the 
chief's fine house and well-fed waistline. Only a trace of Indian blood 
flowed in his veins, but he was a legitimate tribesman by the quarter- 
blood mother who had married his Scotch father. Chief Ross's first child- 
hood memories were of Lookout Mountain in Tennessee near where he 
had been born in 1790. Both the English and Cherokee languages came 
as naturally to him as did the responsibility of chieftainship. His first 
wife was Cherokee, but in 1845 ^ e ^ a< ^ married Mary B. Stapler, a Quaker 
from Wilmington, Delaware. 

The decision that perplexed John Ross as he paced his Park Hill man- 
sion concerned the future of his own position as chief, as well as the entire 
well-being of his people in case they became involved in the Civil War. 
He had received a letter from the newly appointed Confederate Indian 
commissioner, calling his attention to the Federal withdrawal from south- 
west Missouri and asking if it might be to the best interests of the Chero- 
kee to join the Confederacy. The letter must be answered. 

If the proposal was accepted, Chief Ross would violate his people's 
treaty with the United States and forfeit payments of some five million 
dollars to the tribe for land vacated in North Carolina, Georgia, and 
Tennessee. If the proposal was rejected, the Confederate commissioner 


might appeal to Ross's rivals in the tribe and throw him out of office. The 
opportunity to oust him would be welcomed by several wealthy slavehold- 
ing mixbloods who had become more akin to Southern planters than to 
their Indian ancestors. John Ross himself owned a hundred Negro house 
servants and field hands. From the pillared portico of Rose Cottage he 
could look across his well-tilled fields and orchards — a peaceful scene 
where life and property were apparently as much respected as in adjoin- 
ing white settlements. But Ross knew that the specter of assassination 
peered nightly in all the tall windows of his house. He lived luxuriously 
with his wife and her sister, amid imported furniture brought from the 
East at a cost of $10,000. Their mansion could accommodate forty guests. 
A half-mile driveway, bordered with roses, led to its imposing colonnade. 
When the family went driving, a black boy in livery sat on top of the 
coach in a special seat at the back. But beyond the whitewashed fence sur- 
rounding the estate, the Rosses had only a few friends of their own class. 
All others were jealous enemies. 

Out in the wooded hills, beyond the mansions of the wealthy Cherokee, 
stood hundreds of log cabins occupied by full bloods who had adopted 
the backwoods culture of the Carolinas and Tennessee before being 
shipped to Indian Territory some twenty years ago. These red-skinned set- 
tlers raised a little corn and tobacco, cured their own pork, made hominy 
and soap, kindled fires with flint and steel, baked dodgers and fried meat 
in the fireplace. On holidays a full-blooded Cherokee delighted in a gay 
calico shirt and a plume in his turban or broad-brimmed hat, but his cos- 
tume was no more picturesque than that worn by white frontiersmen. 
Like frontier whites, most Cherokee owned flintlock shotguns, but they 
also used bows and arrows for killing small game and fish. A Cherokee 
husbandman, with all the outward appearance of a peaceful farmer, was 
still an Indian at heart who would flush with rage when an enemy gave 
the ancient "turkey-gobble challenge" — a fighting gesture that stirred 
primeval passions. 

In recent years a nostalgia had appeared among the full bloods for the 
ancient long-house culture. A new and popular secret society dedicated 
members to the preservation of tribal customs. Keetoowah, as it was called, 
claimed some two thousand devoted members. John Ross knew that his 
opponents accused him of using Keetoowah to hold the full bloods' loyalty 


to himself, to retard their progress toward a Southern-planter way of life. 
He knew, too, that Northern missionaries had sponsored the secret order 
and were said to be preaching abolition to its converts. Thus allegiance to 
the North, abolition, and tribal gods had become a trinity in the fullblood 
Indian mind, just as abolition, self-government, and freedom of the press 
had become a trinity in the Kansas free-state mind. 

Liberal mixbloods scoffed at the Indians who looked backward instead 
of ahead, called them "pin" Indians in derision — a name said to have 
originated from the clandestine meetings of Keetoowah in the hills, like 
Washington Irving's mythical little men who bowled above thunder 
clouds in the Catskills. More likely the name referred not to ninepins, but 
to the order's insignia — a poor man's pins fixed in a cross on coat lapel 
or hunting shirt. 

John Ross, pacing to and fro with the important letter in his hand, 
understood the curious problems before him and his people. In addition to 
the conflicting tugs of the planter civilization and the ancient Indian way 
of life, a third force had invaded the red men's cabins since the Cherokee 
had come West. The great plains, with limitless grass and wild bison, lay 
only two or three days' ride toward the setting sun. Young Indians of the 
civilized tribes rode out there on excursions and came back with some of 
the "horse Indians' " adventurousness — a new sense of values, all Indian, 
but very different from the. Keetoowah concept of tribal customs in the 
Blue Ridge Mountains of Tennessee. 

These conflicting pressures were baffling enough, and now civil war 
had come to cut the red men off from council with their traditional White 
Father. Bewildered and excited, security gone, the confused Indians might 
stampede down any of the new paths that promised safety. Chief Ross 
knew that his reply to the Confederate commissioner's letter might pre- 
cipitate some rash and unforeseeable action. 

The elderly chief had known other crises and he had invariably sur- 
mounted them. The greatest had been the removal of the tribe from Ten- 
nessee. At that time the mixblood families had betrayed the full bloods by 
signing away the tribal lands, excusing the act by saying that removal was 
inevitable and their treaty a better one than Ross could make. 

Chief Ross had promptly turned this defeat into victory by contracting 
with the government to carry out the removal terms of the treaty, thus 


adding thousands to his already ample fortune and at the same time 
holding the friendship of the dispossessed tribesmen, who retaliated 
against the treaty signers by calling them from their houses at midnight 
and stabbing them all to death — all but one. Stand Watie alone had 
escaped the knives, and John Ross had good reason to believe that Watie 
blamed him for the deaths of his friends and hoped constantly for re- 
venge. The Civil War might furnish the opportunity Stand Watie wanted. 
Suppose Ross turned down the commissioner's request to join the Con- 
federacy and Watie accepted it in the name of the mixbloods? Backed 
by the Southern Army, Watie might become chief. Old John Ross had 
outwitted such clever schemers before. He must do so again. 

Stand Watie was three-quarter Cherokee — much more Indian blood 
than John Ross could boast. He had been born in Georgia, spoke English 
perfectly, and his brother, Elias Boudinet — murdered by the "pins" — 
had edited the Chero\ee Phoenix: a widely circulated Indian newspaper 
printed partly in English and partly in the peculiar written language orig- 
inated by the scholar Sequoyah. 

Ross, in his mansion, surrounded with loyal retainers, had little to fear 
personally from Stand Watie, but he could not think unemotionally about 
that swart little man and what he might do in this crisis. Watie had the 
advantage of being sixteen years younger than Ross. He looked like an 
Indian, wore his hair proudly in pompadour, spoke abruptly or not at all. 
Moreover, his legs were bowed from years in the saddle. Confederates 
might find use for him as a guerrilla, but they would be mistaken to be- 
lieve him a savage, for Stand Watie possessed great natural ability. As 
sole survivor of the treaty-party leaders he had assumed large and complex 
business responsibilities. He had settled claims of the heirs of the assas- 
sinated chiefs. He had managed the affairs of their widows, leasing their 
slaves to supply income, mortgaging some to obtain ready cash. He had 
straightened out titles to their land and had found employment for their 
children, or arranged for their schooling back East. But with all his 
competence in the white man's business world, Stand Watie prided him- 
self on being an Indian. He had named his daughter Minnehaha — 
though she now wore Eastern clothes, could quote the Bible and read 

With the specter of Stand Watie's vengeance always before him and a 


lifetime of amicable relations with the Federal government behind him, 
John Ross had discouraged all sympathy for the Confederacy among his 
people. He had quashed a proposed plan of the Five Nations to act in 
concert against the North. The gaudy Texan, Ben McCulloch, had called 
in person at Rose Cottage seeking an alliance, but Ross stood firm. Next 
had come Albert Pike, newly appointed Confederate Indian commissioner 
with $100,000 to be used in getting control of Indian Territory. Jeff Davis 
realized the importance of the Indians' half million cattle. 

John Ross met Pike as he had McCulloch. The small, punctilious chief- 
tain extended his hand to the majestic mountain of flesh capped with flow- 
ing locks. Pike's face was notably marble calm, statuesque, profusely 
bearded — round as a pansy. His dress was untidy, but John Ross knew 
him to be an accomplished scholar versed in Indian languages and also 
in French, Spanish, Greek, Latin, and Sanskrit. Ross also knew Pike's 
reputation as a gentleman on the dueling field, how he had stood 
serenely before an admiring crowd while his antagonist's bullet twitched 
those pansy whiskers. 

Strangely enough, this man Pike understood Indians and Indians' ways 
as well as, probably better than, the Indian chief. In addition to being a 
successful attorney for the red man, Pike, as a youth, had ventured out 
on the plains among wild Indians and had survived. But he, like General 
McCulloch, failed to convert John Ross. 

Disappointed, Pike had left Park Hill and driven south to negotiate 
successful treaties with the Choctaw and Chickasaw and to encourage the 
enlistment of Indian regiments to be commanded by their agent, Doug- 
las H. Cooper, hard-drinking Mississippian appointed by President Pierce. 
The Little Roc\ Times and Herald lauded the new allies as "these noble 
sons of the west, [who] armed with the long rifles, Tomma-hawks and 
scalping knives, swear that nothing but the scalp of the Yankee will satisfy 
their vengeance." 

With the Choctaw and Chickasaw treaties in his portfolio, Commis- 
sioner Pike drove north again to visit the Creek and Seminole — both 
weak tribes surrounded by the powerful Cherokee. If these nations dealt 
with Albert Pike, the Cherokee would be the only civilized Indians to re- 
main neutral. Most ominous of all, Stand Watie had begun to raise an 
independent battalion of Cherokee with himself as colonel. Other officers 


included his nephew Elias C. Boudinet, Arkansas newspaperman who had 
recently been chairman of the Arkansas state Democratic convention. 
Ostensibly the battalion was to police the border, but the implications were 
clearly political. 

Really worried by Stand Watie's military preparations, Ross had 
watched Pike negotiate treaties with the mixblood factions of both 
the Creek and Seminole, regardless of the protests of many purebloods 
who appealed to Chief Opothleyoholo to resist or revolt. Then, with an 
escort, the commissioner drove westward nonchalantly, cigar smoke curl- 
ing serenely around his long hair and beard. He was bound for the 
frontier posts where he hoped to make treaties with the half-wild Indians 
on the edge of the plains. Suppose he succeeded and came back to the 
Cherokee Nation offering one of his treaties to Stand Watie and his mix- 
bloods! Such a trick must be stopped if possible. Ross sent a messenger to 
the western plains' chiefs to beware, to remain united and neutral like 
the Cherokee. He also published an open letter for the press assuring all 
Southerners that the Cherokee wanted only peace and neutrality. No 
white settlement need fear the tomahawk. 

Waiting anxiously, Ross learned from bits of news printed in Texas and 
Arkansas newspapers and from a constant dribble of riders coming across 
the western horizon what was happening out on the frontier during the 
hot July days of 1861. Pike, with his elaborate escort, tents, tables and 
chairs, drove to Forts Washita, Arbuckle, and Cobb — all deserted by the 
Federal garrisons. Sturgis and Totten had moved north by this route, 
abandoning the posts in haste. Doors stood ajar and dust blew through 
broken windows. Indians and renegade whites had prowled through the 
buildings, pawing over the canvas cots, old blankets, and castoff shoes. 
Irregular troops of Texans, Choctaw, and Chickasaw — the latter com- 
manded by English-speaking mixbloods — now camped in some of the 
rooms. The half-wild Comanches, Osages, and Wichita in the area were 
baffled by the soldiers' retreat. Frightened and confused, some of them 
had packed their savage accouterments and trailed away over the horizon 
to live independently like wild Indians or to go to the fabulous land of 
freedom called "Kansas." Others remained sullenly in their rude shelters 
along the brushy creek beds. 


Pike had called the remaining chieftains to grand councils and explained 
his proposed treaty. The headmen asked to be given time for deliberation, 
then stalked away to talk all night among themselves. As the old men 
debated, young savages stripped naked and smeared their bronze bodies 
with paint for a dance. The civilized irregulars watched them and some 
days later staged a dance of their own under a Confederate flag, stamping 
out two generations of missionary teaching to the rhythm of a plains In- 
dian war dance. By morning the civilized Indians were half savage and 
the half savages were still reluctant to sign a new treaty. 

Pike turned his attention to the possibility of an alliance with the wild 
Indians. He inquired about Jesse Chisholm, the famous trader with the 
half-wild Wichita. Chisholm operated a "factory" on a tributary of the 
Canadian where the bottoms supplied ample grass, wood, and water for 
Indian encampments. The Wichita, having learned white men's ways, 
acted as middlemen for the wild tribes beyond, and they might be impor- 
tant in Pike's plan to enlist plains savages against the Federal government. 
Jesse Chisholm traded extensively with them, and his buildings could not 
store the bountiful accumulation of pelfries and buffalo hides. Deerskins, 
beaver, otters, and wolf furs were ricked like hay outside the cabins await- 
ing transportation to Milt McGee's warehouse in Kansas City. From the 
wild Indians Chisholm also purchased occasional Negro slaves captured 
in Texas, and he resold them, together with his pelts, in Missouri. Some 
wild villages of Kiowa and Comanche occasionally offered white prisoners 
for sale but feared to come near trading posts with them. 

Jesse Chisholm spoke the Wichita and Comanche dialects fluently. 
English and Cherokee were his native tongues. He had come with the 
Cherokee from east Tennessee to the territory. His mother's sister had 
married Sam Houston when that Tennesseean resigned the governorship 
to go West and native. Jesse's wide knowledge and experience promised to 
be of great help to Pike in his effort to amalgamate the badly split Indian 
factions and get a treaty that represented entire tribes. 

To entice the red men to councils, Pike purchased great quantities of 
goods. He gave presents and feasts, all costing many thousands of dollars. 
He distributed bolts of gingham and calico to Indian women, playing 
cards and "store pants" to favored chiefs. His grocery purchases included 


such camping luxuries as canned corn, green peas, peaches, oysters, salmon, 
asparagus, lobster, sardines, pineapple, six bottles of Schnapps, two of 
Worcestershire sauce, and two of castor oil. 

To consume such inducements, wild Indians jogged in under a flag of 
truce, wanted to "talk" as long as the grub lasted. Then they rode off 
across the ocean of grass, leaving Pike wondering if they might be spies 
from the abolitionists in Kansas. Obviously it was food, not constitutional 
principles, that interested them. Some Indians became outright insolent 
in their demands. Buffalo Hump, George Washington, and Pock Mark 
displayed contempt for Pike and the Confederacy, too, unless properly 
paid to change their ideas. 

Pike boasted that he negotiated a favorable treaty with the Comanches, 
but it was really with some members only — the old trick used against the 
Indians so many times, the subterfuge John Ross feared Pike might use 
next against him by treating with Stand Watie. 

Chief Ross was pondering this dilemma when Sterling Price rode to 
McCulloch's encampment on the Missouri-Arkansas border and induced 
the Texan to come north and fight at Wilson's Creek. The newly enlisted 
Indian regiments had not gone with McCulloch to fight the "cold weather 
people" but remained to guard their own homes. However, a few red men 
enlisted in Arkansas regiments and at least one, John Benge, was killed. 
The survivors came back with horrendous tales of the slaughter and of 
Lyon's death. The spectacle of dead and dying horses impressed some of 
them more than the sight of mangled men. 

Commissioner Pike learned about the Federal defeat and wrote again 
to Chief Ross, summarizing the hopelessness of the Federal cause and ask- 
ing the chief to reconsider his decision to remain neutral. This was the 
letter which now caused Chief Ross so much perplexity as he walked up 
and down in his handsomely furnished home. He had withstood all the 
pressures, the blandishments, had watched the powerful Choctaw and 
Chickasaw join the Confederacy, saw the lesser Creeks and Seminole 
quarreling on the verge of civil war. Always John Ross had hoped that 
the United States Army would assert its authority and give the Cherokee 
the protection specified in their ancient treaty. However, the Washington 
government had failed. Ross had seen Sturgis and Totten evacuate Little 
Rock and the frontier posts, give up Fort Smith without firing a shot. Ru- 


mors that Jim Lane and James Montgomery would come down and dis- 
cipline proslavery mixbloods, as they had Missourians, did not materialize. 
Then Lyon, the only Federal general in the West, had been killed and his 
army retreated. Certainly the time had come for John Ross to make the 
best treaty he could before Stand Watie betrayed him. Chief Ross decided 
to answer the commissioner's letter affirmatively. He called in his head 
men, and sent out riders summoning all the people to meet on August 21, 
1 861, at Tahlequah, the Cherokee capital, and consider joining the Con- 

Over four thousand Cherokee flocked to the capital, unhitching their 
teams and pitching tents in the wind-sheltered valleys tributary to the Il- 
linois River. Little parties marched up the hill in single file, the women 
behind, to the council house and outdoor rostrum in the square of taverns, 
trading houses, and restaurants. John Ross's brother Lewis, the Cherokee 
treasurer, met the newcomers and mingled with the growing crowd. To- 
day he must persuade the full bloods to join the Confederacy — and they 
were reputed to be a stubborn people. He shook the hands of turbaned 
chieftains, patting shoulders clothed with gay calico shirts. Quietly and 
persistently he urged them to vote for the new alliance. Mixblood Chero- 
kee, fair as Anglo-Saxons, were sure to acquiesce. Dressed in frock coats 
and tall hats, with their women in ballooning crinoline, these men felt 
themselves a part of the Southern civilization. 

At midmorning John Ross mounted the speakers' stand in the square 
and explained that the permanent disruption of the United States seemed 
probable. He asked consent to take preliminary steps for an alliance with 
the Confederacy. The assembled Cherokee granted his request and voted 
to authorize John Drew, of the Ross party, to raise a regiment and tender 
its services to General McCulloch — a shrewd request, as this organiza- 
tion should neutralize the power of Stand Watie's battalion. 

With the Southern alliance assured, a jubilant mob whipped out to 
Park Hill and prepared to erect a Confederate flag on the lawn at Rose 
Cottage. John Ross stopped them. Mrs. Ross and his sister-in-law, the 
chief said, being Pennsylvania Quakers, objected to the emblem of slav- 
ery. Suspicious observers might have seen duplicity in Ross's action, but 
on the surface he appeared loyal to the Confederacy. 

A treaty was duly drawn up with Albert Pike, and during the first week 


in October the commissioner came to Tahlequah to celebrate the alliance. 
Around the speakers* stand Colonel Drew assembled his green regiment 
of Ross supporters. Beside them Stand Watie's horsemen stood in military 
array. The swart leader held a commission now from Jeff Davis. He had 
come to give lip service to John Ross's chieftainship, but he also intended 
to see his own partv get rightful recognition. 

On the platform, the mixblood leaders mingled with Ross's followers 
under the Confederate flag — first time in a generation these traditional 
enemies had met on friendly terms. Bewhiskered Pike, a Mont Blanc tower- 
ing above the rugged black heads of both factions and beaming cordiality, 
shook hands with everyone. Then, tossing his majestic pate in charac- 
teristic manner, his long hair hanging down his back, Pike welcomed 
the Cherokee Nation into the Confederacy. Chief Ross removed his stove- 
pipe hat and responded, outlining the generous features of the newly 
adopted alliance. He concluded bv presenting a Cherokee flag to the 
commissioner. Pike then gave a Confederate flag to Colonel Drew's 
regiment. Next Chief Ross walked across the platform and extended his 
hand to the squat figure of Stand Wane. The short man looked into 
the chief's ingratiating face and blurted out that the two parties should 
have acted like this long ago. but even now there would be no peace be- 
tween the factions so long as the "pins" remained a political organization. 
Ross replied suavely that he knew nothing about them — a questionable 
statement. Was he still planning an underground movement to hold the 
Cherokee with the Union : 

In any event. John Ross wrote, with apparent good faith, to the recalci- 
trant chief of the Creeks. Opothlevoholo. to come "where we mav all 
smoke the pipe of peace and friendship around our great council fire," 
let all the civilized nations acquiesce in allegiance to the Confederacy. 
With Ross's letter Commissioner Pike sent another, offering a colonel's 
commission to the Creek chief and complete amnestv for most of his fol- 
lowers. Surelv the little Creek and Seminole nations could not stand alone, 
now that the powerful Cherokee had joined the Confederacy. The vic- 
tory seemed complete and an exultant Southern press urged the newly 
formed red regiments — the Choctaw. Chickasaw, and Cherokee — to 
strike at southern Kansas while the abolitionists, defeated at Wilson's 
Creek, were running: north as fast as their lees would take them. 

X I X 

Slaveholding Indians Declare War 

Opothleyoholo replied to Chief Ross by messenger. A large group of 
his people, he said, were determined to remain loyal to the Union, to 
repudiate the Pike treaty. He must comply with their wishes. The eighty- 
year-old chief was a blanket Indian. He painted his face and could neither 
read nor write, but his brain was powerful. He owned many slaves and 
cultivated two thousand acres of land, keeping all the details of his busi- 
ness — various mortgages and payments — and the income and expenses 
of the Creek Nation in his mind. 

Like the Cherokee schism, the split among the Creeks was an ancient 
one. At the time of removal from Georgia it had almost flared into open 
warfare. The Creek chief in those days had been William Mcintosh, 
wealthy mixblood planter and brigadier general under Andy Jackson. His 
first cousin — all white — had been governor of Georgia. The full bloods 
had murdered William Mcintosh for selling their tribal lands and agree- 
ing to move the nation West. The chief's oldest son, Chilly Mcintosh, had 
escaped on that horrendous night. Chilly's brother, Daniel N. Mcintosh, 
twenty -two years his junior, had been reared in the traditional fear and 
hatred of those distant days. He seemed more like a white man than an 
Indian, wore his long hair curled at the ends in cavalier fashion. His beard 
grew vigorously and he shaved it with care, leaving a handsome mustache 
and goatee. An ordained minister in the Baptist Church, he scoffed at 
Opothleyoholo's pagan Indian beliefs and hoped to educate all the Creeks 
to a Southern-planter way of life. 

Chilly and Daniel had persuaded the Creek Council to treat with Albert 
Pike, and Chilly had joined the escort which went west with the commis- 
sioner to help convert the wild Indians. Daniel, at home, had enlisted a 


Creek regiment and, proclaiming the hatchet "dug up," hoisted a Con- 
federate flag over the Creek agency. Opothleyoholo fled to his plantation, 
fearing the Mclntoshes' revenge as much as Chief Ross feared Stand 
Watie's. All Creeks loyal to the Union joined his encampment. 

The Seminole were also split into treaty and nontreaty parties, dating 
back to the removal. The treaty party was led by John Jumper, rich pure- 
blood, unable to read or write but a would-be Southern gentleman. A 
magnificent figure of a man and a fluent speaker, benevolent but strong, 
he was followed with religious devotion by Baptist converts. His influence 
had induced some Seminole to agree to the Pike treaty. The opposing fac- 
tion, led by Billy Bowlegs and Alligator, flocked to Opothleyoholo's 

Many Creeks and Seminole, however, refused to join either group. In- 
stead, they packed their wagons and drove north behind the retreating 
United States Army. Some traveled on to Washington to lay their predica- 
ment before Great White Father Abraham. 

Lincoln listened to the grievances of the picturesque delegations. He had 
already discussed the problem with Jim Lane, who wanted to enlist the 
red men for his great expedition into the South. Lincoln had objected to 
fighting Southerners with Indians, but he approved a series of councils 
with them in the Kansas towns of Humboldt, LeRoy, and Fort Scott. To 
these meetings the Union factions of the Creek, Seminole, and minor na- 
tions sent representatives. All expressed their loyalty and asked for United 
States soldiers to protect them from the Confederates. John Ross, they re- 
peated over and over, was for the Union but dared not express himself. 

Opothleyoholo knew about these councils and, no doubt, expected the 
government to save the refugees who came constantly to his home. Their 
total number will never be known. Contemporaries estimated them as 
high as four thousand, including a thousand to seventeen hundred war- 
riors. They came on foot, horseback, and in wagons piled high with duffel. 
Squaws perched on top of the loads. Children drove milk cows. Many 
runaway slaves from other tribes joined the throng. These civilized In- 
dians, camping together on the plains, soon reverted to the primitive. 
Woman stitched savage embroidery on the edges of their men's homemade 
breeches. At night the men danced to the rhythms of plains Indian chants. 
Rumor said Lane's jayhawkers were coming down to help them. 


The refugee's livestock soon ate all the grass around the chief's planta- 
tion. Opothleyoholo decided that he and his followers must move. He 
stowed the Creek Nation's money in a barrel and with a slave drove back 
into the hills to bury it. After returning, tradition says he ordered the 
slave killed to insure secrecy. Perhaps so, perhaps not. In any event for- 
tune hunters ruined much of the chief's land, digging for the money. 

Opothleyoholo's subsequent movements are also controversial. He said 
that he led his people toward the open Western country to establish a 
"cow-pen" — an idiom common in the Eastern mountains during the 
Revolution. Confederate sympathizers tried to stop him, and he fought 
them on November 19, December 9, and December 26, 1861, in battles 
known by various names. His exact route and purpose can only be sur- 
mised. Certainly Opothleyoholo started from home in a westerly direction 
as though planning his "cow-pen." Confederate Indians accused him of 
driving off their cattle, taking their women and children, and three or 
four hundred of their slaves. They complained that the Kansas jayhawkers 
had joined him and were raiding Confederate Indians' homesteads. 

Opothleyoholo replied that the cattle belonged to his own people, that 
no Kansans were in his party, and that the women and children followed 
of their own free will. Some cabins owned by the Mcintosh faction were 
robbed, and the trading house of John W. Taylor, a Confederate sympa- 
thizer, was burned to the ground. Taylor and his son barely escaped with 
their lives. 

To stop the exodus, the Mclntoshes and John Jumper called for help 
from the brigade of Choctaw, Chickasaw, and Texans which liquor-loving 
Douglas Cooper had raised at his agency. Long-haired and goateed Dan- 
iel N. Mcintosh hastened enlistments in his all-Creek regiment by promis- 
ing that captured cattle and Negroes — free or slave — belonging to 
Opothleyoholo's supporters would be sold and the money used to start a 
new Creek treasury. 

The entire Confederate force, red and white, numbered at least fourteen 
hundred. With high confidence they jogged away to catch Opothleyoholo, 
then march "on to Kansas." At the column's head rode Cooper's Fourth 
Texas Cavalry, next came the Creek regiment commanded by Colonel 
D. N. Mcintosh. Behind his regiment straggled the Creek and Seminole 
battalion under John Jumper and Chilly Mcintosh — the latter, in his 


buggy, whetting toothless gums in anticipation of revenge for the assassina- 
tion of his father. The giant Major Jumper, astride a suitable charger, ap- 
peared as dignified and benign as though leading his congregation to 
church. In the rear came Colonel Cooper himself, with his Choctaw- 
Chickasaw regiment. 

The column marched four days hunting Opothleyoholo. An abandoned 
campground was discovered — matted grass, dead fires, boot tracks and the 
print of children's bare feet; battered kettles, discarded rags littered over 
an area fifty yards square. Wagon tracks showed the route ahead, so the 
column followed them. 

From day to day, scouts studied the horse droppings between the wheel 
ruts. One morning they pronounced them fresh and Colonel Mcintosh 
ordered a slave to gallop ahead, overtake the fugitives' train and order it 
to halt or suffer awful vengeance. The Texans followed as an advance 
guard for the army. 

In midafternoon the slave returned. He reported overtaking the fugi- 
tives, said that he had ridden along the creeping column warning every- 
body from the gray and wrinkled Opothleyoholo in his buggy in front 
to women in the slowest, swaying oxcart in the rear, but not a team 

The Texans yelped with gleeful anticipation and spurred away. At four 
o'clock they spied a skein of smoke on the horizon, halted for a moment 
to examine it, then broke into a gallop, hoofs thrumming across the level 
plain in an ever-lengthening line — a spectacular horse race. The smoke 
proved to be a delusion. The riders found only a deserted outpost, the fire 
still burning merrily. 

The sun was sinking now, shining in the riders' eyes as their heaving 
horses formed company front again. The Creek regiment was close be- 
hind, and the Texans, intent on being first, dashed off again, determined 
to whip the enemy before the main army arrived. As they spurred along, 
the leaders noticed that the wagon tracks dipped down a gentle slope to- 
ward a line of leafless timber skirting a stream. Beyond, against the dark- 
ening sky, they could see the outline of two flat-topped mounds. Below, 
twinkling through the bare tree branches, they saw a constellation of 
campfires — Opothleyoholo's main party at last. 

An exultant yell rippled along the charging line as the Texans rushed 


down the slope. It was too dark now to see one another clearly. At the 
edge of the black woods a sheet of red fire roared out from under the trees. 
Horses rolled over like rabbits. Others stumbled, reared, pawed the air, 
bumped together in confusion. Men rocketed through the darkness, 
pitched to the ground, staggered to their feet in the tall grass. Those un- 
hurt tried to re-form, back on the prairie, but found themselves vulnerable 
marks against the stars. Arrows whistled past their ears. Shots in the dis- 
tance flickered like fireflies. Others spit with sudden viciousness from 
nearby bushes. Texans and attacking Indians were undistinguishable in 
the blackness. No hope except retreat to the main army! In desperate 
straits the Texans started back, with enemies hooting signals to each other 
like wood owls in the gloom, and stealthily picking ofT stragglers. 

A roll call of the survivors who reached Cooper's camp disclosed twenty 
missing with their flag. Next morning scouts ventured toward the timber 
and found that Opothleyoholo had moved away during the night, leav- 
ing a few old ponies, the chief's buggy, twelve broken-down wagons, 
thirty yoke of oxen, and some sheep. Partly consumed sacks of sugar and 
coffee indicated a hasty retreat. Mangled bodies of prisoners were found 
with skulls bashed in by squaws' hominy pestles. Among the dead on the 
prairie lay the sprawled body of John W. Taylor, merchant to the Creek 
Nation, who had ridden with the Texans. 

Colonel Cooper policed the battleground, collected the booty, and jogged 
oft toward Fort Gibson, an old army post on the Neosho sixty miles west 
of Fort Smith. He excused himself for not following up the left-handed 
victory by saying that McCulloch needed him in case Lincoln's newly ap- 
pointed General Hunter continued Fremont's demonstration against 

So ended the battle of Round Mounds on November 19, 1861 — first en- 
gagement of the Civil War in Indian Territory. Opothleyoholo fought 
only on the defensive. He made his stand at the edge of the Creek country 
as though hesitating to go farther. Shortly before the fight a friendly 
Cherokee rode into the Creek camp offering hospitality in his village at 
the Big Bend of the Arkansas. Opothleyoholo accepted the invitation, and 
after the battle fled northeast toward it during the night. Obviously he had 
no fixed purpose now, except escape, and always in the minds of his peo- 
ple Kansas stood for freedom under the government. 


As Colonel Cooper jogged south toward Fort Gibson with his Indians 
and Texans, after the battle of Round Mounds, he intercepted many 
fugitive red men in bands much smaller than Opothleyoholo's, all headed 
for the promised land in Kansas. He captured them, usually without re- 
sistance, and marched them back to their homes in the territory. Many 
other parties evaded him. Some were miles away to the east or to the west. 
Among these was Jesse Chisholm — certainly no abolitionist — with the 
Wichita who depended on him and his trading post, now on wheels, as 
their only source of civilized supplies. 

Before Colonel Cooper reached the fort, he learned from a messenger 
that General Hunter had retreated from Springfield, Missouri. The danger 
of invasion had passed, and Cooper's Indian brigade would not be needed 
to reinforce McCulloch and Price. The colonel halted, where grass stood 
tall and well-cured on the stem, to rest his men and horses for another 
attack on Opothleyoholo. Soon his brigade was joined by the full-blooded 
Cherokee regiment recently recruited by Colonel John Drew. Stand Watie 
had not yet increased his battalion to regiment size but sent word that he 
would come later. 

Cooper, now having near two thousand men, decided to strike Opoth- 
leyoholo front and rear. A mixblood scout named Clem V. Rogers (father 
of Will Rogers) pointed out the trail taken by the fugitives. Clem's 
father, a member of the treaty party, had been killed by the Ross faction, 
and the son felt no sympathy for full bloods, be they Creek or Cherokee. 
But when the attacking army surrounded Opothleyoholo, Drew's regi- 
ment of full bloods refused to fight full-blooded Creek and Seminole 
whose sole offense was loyalty to the United States. This defection cut 
Cooper's army down to Opothleyoholo's size, but the colonel's men still 
smarted from their defeat at Round Mounds and determined to attack. 
The battle was fought along the south bank of Bird Creek and in the cane 
and brush thickets bordering the stream. At dark Opothleyoholo still 
held his ground. 

During the night Cooper reassembled his men on the plain and re- 
ceived reports from his commanders. He listed his casualties as fifteen 
killed and thirty-seven wounded, Opothleyoholo's as "probably five hun- 
dred." Without doubt the latter's loss was "probably" less than Cooper's. 
Moreover, Indian Agent Cooper had tired of fighting. Perhaos his stock 


of liquor was running out. In any event he ordered his men back to Fort 

On the march, Cooper's Indians joked about their encounters and es- 
capes. Their second failure became a victory as the distance from Bird 
Creek increased. Before long the Chickasaw boasted that they had taken 
fifty scalps while the Choctaw claimed a hundred and fifty. Mcintosh's 
Creeks excused themselves from the grisly game by saying they could not 
scalp their own people. Lieutenant A. E. Folsom, of Company E, Second 
Choctaw Regiment, wrote home happily: "I shot the first man killed, got 
his horse and saddle, two scalps, and almost lost my own." 

This bravado did not conceal the Confederate Indians' defeat. Southern 
newspapers foresaw disaster: Would "the Yankee abolitionist" Opothleyo- 
holo, with his four thousand warriors (he had less than a quarter of that 
number) crush Cooper's little force and thus take the entire Indian Terri- 
tory from the Confederacy ? Colonel Cooper spurred ahead of his men to 
confer with Chief Ross and General McCulloch. He wanted an explana- 
tion for the desertion of the five hundred Cherokee, and he also wanted 
some white soldiers to stiffen his Indian brigade. To his disappointment 
Chief Ross equivocated and McCulloch was absent in Richmond, Vir- 
ginia, conferring with President Jeff Davis about his conflicting authority 
with Sterling Price. The command had devolved on James Mcintosh — 
no relation to the Creek — and this proved good for Cooper. Mcintosh 
was always less cautious than his chief. He agreed to come to Cooper's 
aid with thirteen hundred and eighty Wilson's Creek veterans, catch 
Opothleyoholo or "pull a wheel off." Again the plan was to strike the 
Union Indians front and rear, the Indian brigade to march up the Ar- 
kansas, the Americans up the Verdigris. 

Mcintosh led the way. The weather turned cold with snow hissing 
through the gloomy blue hills. At noon on December 26, 1861, a company 
of his Texans probed the thin ice for a ford across Shoal Creek — a tribu- 
tary of the Verdigris. Distant rifle shots peppered the slope behind them. 
The lead squads splashed across and hid behind the creek bank on the 
enemy's side. Mcintosh halted his main army out of range and studied 
the country ahead. Beyond his crouching men a prairie stretched four 
hundred yards to a ridge dotted with boulders and blackjacks which un- 
doubtedly sheltered the enemy. The Wilson's Creek veterans prided them- 


selves on being able cavalrymen, but a successful charge could hardly 
start along a frozen creek and end at an impassable hillside. 

Mcintosh turned to his shivering men. He ordered them to dismount 
and warm themselves by deploying rapidly in line. Then he shouted to the 
company behind the creek bank to open fire by squads, spatter the hillside 
with lead until no Indian dared raise his head. Next, he turned to his 
bugler: "Blow the charge!" 

Down the bank and into the half -frozen creek the Americans splashed, 
then up the other side and out across the open prairie, running hard now 
in their wet clothes, straight for the rocks and trees that sheltered the 
Indians. Here from rock to tree, the Americans worked their way up the 
hill. By 5 p.m. the action was over, except for a few squads still firing at 
fugitives in distant valleys. 

Bugles sounded assembly and the men trudged in to cook supper, dry 
their clothes, and prowl through Opothleyoholo's deserted camp where 
a hundred and sixty women and children and twenty Negro prisoners 
quaked in a huddle. Guards were assigned to care for seventy yoke of 
captured oxen, thirty-nine wagons, five hundred ponies. All warriors not 
dead among the blackjacks had escaped into the wintry dusk, with only 
the scanty supplies they could carry in their hands, on saddle horses, and 
in a few wagons. Perhaps some courageous women had escaped too. 

As dark settled over the bivouac fires, Stand Watie clattered in from the 
south at the head of three hundred Cherokee horsemen — the first Indians 
to arrive at the scene. Mcintosh was ready to march back to Fort Smith 
and call the war finished, but Stand Watie and his nephew, Elias C. 
Boudinet, warmed their brown hands before the open fire and promised 
themselves a chase after the fugitives next day. Following behind them, 
Cooper's big brigade of Choctaw and Chickasaw whooped for vengeance 
after their double defeat at Round Mounds and at Bird Creek. 

In the morning Mcintosh returned to Fort Smith, as he planned, but 
the red regiments galloped ahead tracking the refugees. The few who 
had escaped with wagons were easily overtaken. Those on foot or pony- 
back were harder to find. Heading blindly north across a hundred miles 
of bleak plains, their only thought was to reach the mythical "Kansas." 
By day, little parties of them cowered along the brushy creeks sheltered 
from the biting wind. After dark they ventured across the open plains, 


guided by the stars and hoping to reach the next timber before dawn when 
Stand Watie's keen-eyed horsemen were sure to spy them. The fugitives 
killed and ate their horses, used the hides for shelter and cut them into 
rude moccasins for frosted feet. Women crept from hiding places in gul- 
lies, after the pursuing horsemen had passed, and picked kernels of corn 
from the horses' droppings to chew for food. Mothers, terrified and dis- 
couraged, threw their babies into freezing mudholes and trampled the 
life out of them. 

A few families decided to give themselves up, others determined to 
fight boldly to the death. Major Boudinet's battalion captured seventy-five 
prisoners and twenty-five pack horses. Alligator, a Seminole from the 
swamps of Florida, died rather than surrender. Cooper's brigade, riding 
more leisurely, apprehended stragglers missed by Watie and Boudinet. 
Persistent as bloodhounds, they followed all fresh tracks in the drifting 
snow, scoured brushy watercourses, and unearthed little parties in miser- 
able shelters, killing or capturing them. Not all were followers of Opoth- 
leyoholo. Many were independent groups fleeing in terror toward Kansas. 
One party of Delawares was stopped, interrogated, and released when 
found to be relatives of Confederate sympathizers. 

The rout was complete, with seven hundred Indians perishing in the 
flight. Confederate newspapers crowed exultantly, reported Stand Watie 
as sweeping victoriously north across the "Boston abolition strongholds, 
leaving Fort Scott, Topeka and Lawrence in ashes." Delegates from the 
civilized nations were received in the Confederate Congress in Richmond. 
Albert Pike was commissioned a brigadier general to command the entire 
Indian Territory. He forthwith prepared a long "talk" for the recalcitrant 
Comanches and Kiowas who had refused to accept his treaty. Jesse Chis- 
holm — having come back down what would soon be called the Chisholm 
Trail after delivering the Wichita in Kansas — was employed to carry the 
"talk" to the wild Indians. Runners took copies of it to the nomadic 
Apaches, Cheyenne, and Arapaho. On the Comanche reservation a bat- 
talion enlisted. Old Buffalo Hump, George Washington, and Jim Pock 
Mark sent word that they loved Pike like a brother. When would he de- 
liver the presents? 

In Fort Leavenworth, Agent George A. Cutler wired Washington: 
"Heopothleyohola . . . needs help badly. . . . Hurry up Lane." 

X X 
I Must Have St. Louis — Then Huzza 1 

As the refugee Indians dribbled into Kansas, Curtis marched his column 
south to redo the work of Lyon and Fremont, to retake Springfield, and 
defeat Price. At the Rolla railhead, Curtis left his wife and daughter to 
act as nurses at the army hospital established there. Although solicitous 
for his wife's welfare, letters to her were pompously signed "yours Saml R. 
Curtis." Only to his brother, back in Nebraska, could the general become 
confidential — even sentimental, when recalling boyhood days together. 

The cold winter of 1 861-1862 that wreaked such hardships on the In- 
dians also caused suffering in Curtis's army. Roads were almost impass- 
able. Mudholes froze over every night strong enough to hold a man, but 
wagons broke the ice and sometimes sank to the hubs. At Lebanon, half- 
way between Rolla and Springfield, Curtis halted for his men to thaw 
out and reorganize. They were equipped with round Sibley tents, each 
with a conical Sibley stove in the center. Around this the men slept packed 
snug as wedges of pie, their feet to the fire and heads out. Lieutenant 
Nathan Harwood of the Forty-sixth Iowa Infantry remembered how, 
when a man wanted to roll over, he shouted the command: "Spoon right," 
or, "Spoon left," as the case required. 

Beyond Lebanon, where the hill country came to an end, prairie roads 
were quagmires. In addition, people on the rich level land did not wel- 
come "abolitionists." Curtis noticed, too, that long cold rides tired him 
more than they had a quarter of a century ago when he studied soldiering 
at West Point. Fifty-seven now, he was putting on weight. Civilian life 
and two and a half terms in Congress had softened his muscles. The fine 
wavy hair on his head was thinning. Curtis's natural slowness of thought 
and action, his prominent forehead above a dish-face, had seemed pomp- 


ous in boyhood, and companions made fun of him, but in maturity his 
calm bearing and massive figure would ornament any army column. Bad 
roads failed to disconcert him. As an engineer on the old National Road 
in Ohio he understood the technical problem ahead. As former city en- 
gineer of St. Louis, under Mayor Luther M. Kennett, he had been an effi- 
cient administrator. Exact in small details, Curtis also possessed construc- 
tive ideas — a rare combination that should serve him well against Old 
Pap Price. During the Mexican War Curtis had created a highly suc- 
cessful espionage system. Now, in southwest Missouri, he employed ad- 
venturous young men to disguise themselves as hillbillies and collect in- 
formation. Twenty-five-year-old Wild Bill Hickok joined this service. To 
slip away in the night, hide in the woods by day, loaf around mountain 
cabins, attend "secesh balls" and even enlist in the enemy forces suited his 
daring disposition. Only two drawbacks marred Hickok's usefulness. His 
ego demanded gaudy clothes, and his fantastic mustache made him a trifle 
too conspicuous for successful spying. 

Curtis believed that he understood the causes for Fremont's failure, and 
determined to strike quickly — a difficult task for one of his deliberate- 
ness. But he inherited competent officers. Sigel, Carr, and Osterhaus were 
all veterans of Wilson's Creek, now commanding divisions. All of them 
were familiar with the enemy and the country ahead. 

Spies reported that Price and McCulloch were still at odds. The Texan 
had gone to Richmond to clarify his position. Price's men were said to be 
suffering from much sickness. Discipline was reported to be lax with Old 
Pap "drinking too much" — good news for Curtis. 

The Federal Army moved cautiously forward, through the mud, toward 
Springfield, with Price's men retreating before them. The Union soldiers 
entered the town on February 13, 1862, as the rebels marched out. Curtis 
arrived with his staff shortly after the occupation, found his men gulping 
beer and gingerbread looted from the stores and promptly established 
martial law. He set up his headquarters in the deserted residence of Mrs. 
Grane. Price had lived here and he left the place immaculate. All the 
owner's bric-a-brac were carefully put away in a closet where they would 
not be disturbed. Truly Price set an example hard for commanding gen- 
erals to follow. Curtis's aides opened their general's baggage, spread out 
the papers. Quartermasters began to inventory the town's supply of forage, 


flour, and army stores. Curtis ordered Grenville M. Dodge to ride south 
with the Fourth Iowa Cavalry and keep in touch with the retreating 
enemy — a job Dodge understood, for he knew the prairies, having 
surveyed west from Council Bluffs what he hoped would be a transcon- 
tinental railroad. "Level Eye" the Indians called this solemn, hundred- 
and-thirty-pound, stoop-shouldered engineer. 

Hour after hour the troops streamed into Springfield to be assigned 
proper camping places. Veterans who had been here before noticed the 
ravages of war on the little town. The shade trees along the streets of 
1 86 1 were now lifeless stumps. Broken fences, muddy wagon tracks across 
meadows, and patches of dirty snow added to the unsightliness. Every 
day vedettes brought in parties of rebel recruits who believed Old Pap 
still held the town. Among these was Brigadier General Edwin M. Price, 
the commander's son, returning from northern Missouri. This distin- 
guished prisoner was sent to Rolla and thence to St. Louis where De- 
partment Commander Halleck agreed to parole him with the under- 
standing that he reside in a Northern city. 

Private Absalom Grimes and a companion were also caught away from 
their company when Price retreated. Coming back from a foraging expe- 
dition, they noticed blue-clad soldiers in the roads and knew something 
was wrong. They turned and spurred away, riding south all night. Next 
morning, tired, sleepy and very hungry, they spied some cavalry horses 
hitched around a farmhouse — evidently Price's rear guard. Eager for a 
warm breakfast the foragers dismounted, opened the door, and stepped 
into a crowd of men in blue who promptly took their arms and sent them 
back to Springfield under guard, to be imprisoned temporarily on the 
second floor of a double house which Curtis had converted into barracks. 
Before long some Federal prisoners were pushed in the room. Drunk, 
they soon fell asleep. Grimes took a cap and overcoat from one of the 
snoring culprits. Then, when the guard downstairs changed, Grimes 
donned the cap and coat and marched his fellow Confederate past the 
new sentry and along the street to the Logan sisters' house at the edge of 
town. Here Grimes and his companion were renewing old friendships 
with the girls when a party of Federal cavalrymen knocked at the door, 
asking to share the house's hospitality. Grimes and his friend hid in a back 
room, and as darkness settled over the prairie, they stole outside, unhitched 


the reveling cavalrymen's chargers, and trotted south in the night, happy 
to feel loaded dragoon pistols on the pommels of both saddles! Price's 
army might be far off, but by keeping away from main traveled roads, 
Ab and his companion hoped to reach it. 

Ahead of the fugitives, had they known it, Dodge scoured the country 
with his Fourth Iowa "Black Coats" and the Thirty-sixth Illinois. Prod- 
ding Price's retreating column, Dodge fought three skirmishes in Febru- 
ary. In every fight Price offered only slight resistance. He abandoned many 
horses, supply wagons, and an occasional cannon. One captured gun was 
equipped with prolonges, and a discarded cap indicated that it belonged 
to Hebert's Louisianans. Obviously Price was making a general retreat 
with no thought of standing for a battle, at least until he could join and 
co-operate with McCulloch — the old situation which had divided the 
command before Wilson's Creek. Curtis determined, as Lyon had, to 
strike before they resolved their differences and combined. 

Dodge's two regiments led the van enthusiastically. The weather was 
fine and the men reveled in Southland sunshine, razorbacks, and an occa^ 
sional wild turkey. Along the road they saw piles of rebel equipment, dead 
and broken-down horses and mules. The enemy must be flying in distress. 
At country stores and crossroads, farmers in homespun stared at the 
marching column. The Yankees stared back. They told one another that 
the Ozark girls were something to look at — all kept their hair nicely 
combed "by crawling through the brush-fence after the pigs." In front of 
some cabins, whole families stood begging mercy. They had been told by 
Price's men that the Yankees would kill all men and ravish the women. 
Dodge's men laughed and forged ahead with long, swinging route steps. 
They outmarched their supply train and went on short rations, but still 
they failed to overtake Pap Price. Hungry now, they began to loot farm- 
houses. Abashed at first, they soon learned to storm in closed doors, rum- 
mage deserted premises. In some houses they found washtubs filled with 
clothes, the soapy water still hot. Clocks ticked ominously on the mantels 
of silent rooms. Foragers from the Fifty-ninth Illinois were startled by 
the meow of a hungry cat that rubbed against their legs and begged for 

Suddenly the weather turned bitter cold. Sigel froze his feet. On the 
rolling farm land between Sugar Creek and Pea Ridge the van fought a 


skirmish, but Price got away once more. Curtis noticed that the area 
seemed ideal for maneuvering troops in battle. Twelve miles below, the 
Union soldiers marched into McCulloch's winter cantonment at Cross 
Hollows. It, too, was abandoned. Blackened timbers still smoked among 
red brick chimneys — barracks enough to house ten or twelve thousand 
men. So McCulloch and Price were both retreating now! Could this be 
a trap? Sick and wounded lay unattended in hospital buildings. Fires 
still burned in cookhouse ovens. Food bubbled in kettles on the ranges. 
Plates and tin cups stood on mess-hall tables. Wire pens contained two 
hundred game fowl kept by the Louisiana boys for sporting purposes. 
The Yankees devoured them with glee, became ill, and complained that 
they had been poisoned. The discovery of some brass knuckles set the 
Northerners to speculating about "chivalry's" brutality. 

Eighteen miles below the abandoned cantonment stood Fayetteville — 
an intellectual oasis largely Union in sentiment — on a tree-tasseled knoll 
at the edge of the Boston Mountains. Fayetteville supported two female 
seminaries and Arkansas College — institutions attended by the well-to-do 
whites and by Creek, Cherokee, and Choctaw "ladies of refinement." As- 
both, with his St. Louis Germans, reached the town as McCulloch evacu- 
ated it, leaving the stores looted and many houses on fire. Asboth's men 
were fighting the flames when a courier from Curtis ordered them to re- 
treat. The general feared his line had extended too far for safety. 

Seated in his tent back near Cross Hollows, on February 25, 1862, Gen- 
eral Curtis wrote a happy letter to his brother. He liked to camp in the 
open, to sit in full uniform and spurs, live close to nature and the good 
ground even when a house was available. Solemn and sentimental always, 
his big hazel eyes looked across the farm land his men occupied. The sun 
shone warmly after the cold snap, and he wrote about the singing birds. 
The farm belonged to an avowed secessionist who now sat in the guard 
tent while the Union soldiers pitched their Sibleys in his grain fields, 
butchered his cattle, and tore down his fences for firewood. Curtis could 
hear the man's wife and four little girls on the porch of the farmhouse 
lamenting the destruction of their property. Curtis told his brother about 
the successful march and expressed pride in the campaign so far. Driving 
Price from Missouri might seem a small accomplishment beside Grant's 


recent victories at Forts Henry and Donelson, but it was nonetheless a real 
military achievement. 

His correspondence completed, Curtis settled down to the routine of 
organizing his position, of establishing his communications along the wire 
road to Springfield, Rolla, and St. Louis. He was aroused from his concen- 
tration over these details on March 3, 1862, by the distant booming of can- 
non. He counted forty precisely timed discharges — the salute for a major 
general. So a top-ranking officer had come to take command over Price 
and McCulloch! Here was a challenge to Curtis from the unknown. 

Jeff Davis had solved the quarrel between McCulloch and Price by the 
oldest of devices. To appoint either as supreme commander would alienate 
a large number of the other's loyal supporters. To discharge either would 
lose the services of a valued military leader. Therefore, Davis kept both 
generals in their respective commands and created over their heads a new 
military department — the Trans-Mississippi Department No. 2 — includ- 
ing the commands of Price and McCulloch as well as Pike's four regi- 
ments of Indians and M. Jeff Thompson's "swamp rats," a total of forty- 
five thousand men under the command of Major General Earl VanDorn 
with specific instructions to defeat Curtis. 

VanDorn was a soldier by profession, a Mississippian by birth, and a 
grand nephew of Andy Jackson's. He loved weapons and women — in- 
cluding other men's wives. A dashing captain of horse he had been twice 
brevetted for gallantry in the Mexican War. As he assumed command of 
the new department, he was convalescing from a bad fall while attempt- 
ing a dangerous ditch jump. His aide, duty-bound to follow, had been 
seriously injured. 

On the day of his appointment VanDorn wrote his wife, "I must have 
St. Louis — then huzza!" Crushing Curtis and his ten thousand Rvc hun- 
dred men seemed only incidental. Up in the Missouri metropolis, society 
matrons sympathetic to the Confederacy planned for VanDorn's recep- 
tion. One wealthy widow who had become notorious for selling "secesh 
aprons" and "secesh fans" boasted that her house was open to the Southern 
champions when they arrived. 

Hot-blooded VanDorn was the ideal soldier to restore Missouri chivalry. 
Surely he could outmarch and outfight slow, methodical engineer Curtis. 


With characteristic eclat he halted the retreating Confederates in the 
Boston Mountains south of Fayetteville, and ordered an about-face. With 
Napoleonic language, in the wintry woods of Arkansas, he addressed the 

Soldiers! Behold your leader! He comes to show you the way to glory 
and immortal renown. . . . Awake, young men of Arkansas, and arm! 
Beautiful maidens of Louisiana, smile not on the craven youth who may 
linger by your hearth when the rude blast of war is sounding in your 
ears! Texas chivalry, to arms! 

This ornate eloquence was followed by an order for the men to pre- 
pare three days' cooked rations for a forced march north. On March 4, 
1862, they set off with a gale blowing wet snow in their faces. "In like a 
lion, out like a lamb," gave them little immediate comfort. Cavalrymen 
tried to warm numbed fingers between saddle blankets and their horses' 
backs. The hot sweat felt good at first but finally left their hands colder 
than ever. Infantrymen fared better by swinging their arms and legs 
naturally. In addition to horse and foot, VanDorn brought sixty pieces of 
artillery, including ox-drawn Ol' Sacramento, under command of bright- 
eyed but cadaverous Hi Bledsoe. 

On another road, west of the Boston Mountains, Pike's Indian column 
was coming to join the Confederate army with from one to six thousand 
men — estimates vary as much as that. In all, VanDorn was using from 
sixteen to twenty thousand of the men in his department in an effort to 
defeat Curtis's ten thousand five hundred. 

The Indians marched in a long straggling line, many mounted, some 
trudging on foot. At the head, in a carriage, rode poetical and bewhiskered 
Pike, decked out like a Sioux in feathers, leggins, and beaded moccasins. 
His Negro body servant Brutus accompanied him with the tribal papers 
and pay rolls in carpetbags. With Pike rode conservative John Ross in 
frock coat and stovepipe hat like President Lincoln's. General Cooper 
brought his Choctaw and Chickasaw. One unit of the former called them- 
selves the "Blue Eyed Company," but it would be a mistake to consider 
any of them not Indians. Both factions of the Cherokee Nation were repre- 
sented. The mixbloods, under Stand Watie and Elias C. Boudinet, rode 
with the Texas battalion — all veterans of the fights against Opothleyoholo. 
Twelve hundred full-blooded "pins," who distrusted Stand Watie's "slick 


skins" more than they did the enemy, rode with John Drew. Pompous 
John Jumper, dignified as an archbishop, came with six hundred Seminole. 
The Creeks were led bv long-haired Daniel Mcintosh with eight members 
of his family holding commissions in the regiment, among them the tooth- 
less Chilly with a battalion of two hundred. Surely as bizarre an army as 
ever rode into an American battle! A VanBuren, Arkansas, newspaper re- 
porter described Mcintosh's Creek regiment as being a mixture of all ages 
and colors, including many Negroes with no uniforms and few arms. 
They had practiced a unique drill unknown to the pages of Hardee's 
manual. For the newsman the tatterdemalion gang lined up and at a given 
command all emitted a savage yell, broke ranks, ran a hundred yards to 
timber, fired by squads, cleaned their guns, and stood waiting further 
orders. Just how this kind of warfare would work on a battlefield was 
anybody's guess. None of Drew's Cherokee showed much enthusiasm for 
military glory. Some wanted to desert. Others still sympathized with 
Opothleyoholo and, as they marched along, plotted to kill their Con- 
federate allies in the first battle. The pay promised them by General Pike 
was long overdue. He had received it from Richmond but, in his leisurely 
way, had failed to make the payments. Now his negligence proved a bene- 
fit to the service, for he promised to pay the companies at stations ahead. 
Thus few men deserted his column on the march. 

Back at Curtis's encampment near Cross Hollows, a tough little jockey 
of a man drove north along the wire road. Bandy-legged Captain Phil 
Sheridan did not know that his team of prancing black chargers was car- 
rying him away from an impending battle. A short time after he left, 
Wild Bill Hickok and a party of scouts brought word that the enemy was 
coming in force. Curtis decided to concentrate and fight in the area be- 
tween Sugar Creek and Pea Ridge, some twelve miles to the north. Eu- 
gene Carr and Jefferson C. Davis were stationed there already. As veteran 
regulars they could be counted on to prepare adequate fortifications. Carr, 
the bearded Cossack, had distinguished himself at Wilson's Creek. Davis 
had been in Jefferson City when Mulligan made his march to Lexington. 
He was a silent, lonesome-looking man with cold eyes that habitually 
peered down a long sharp nose. Fellow officers considered him a recluse 
on account of his abstract devotion to duty. Certainly he would work inde- 
fatigably under Curtis's instructions. Davis had been a lieutenant of artil- 


lery in Fort Sumter at the time of its surrender eleven months ago. Now 
a brigadier general of volunteers, he commanded a division. 

Curtis sent couriers racing out through the night to call in Sigel's divi- 
sion from northwest Arkansas. He warned the German to come at once 
lest VanDorn cut him off. Then Curtis mounted his saddle horse and rode 
toward Pea Ridge. He arrived at 2 a.m. on March 6, 1862, aroused Carr 
and Davis, and outlined plans for the defense. 

The couriers found Sigel's men widely scattered. Riders galloped off to 
all the units with orders for them to pack up in the night and start north. 
By late morning on March 6, 1862, all but two regiments were within ten 
miles of Pea Ridge and these, as Curtis had feared, were pinched off by 
VanDorn. Sigel halted his entire line to help them out. Curtis on Sugar 
Creek, riding around to inspect the progress on his earthworks, heard the 
distant bombardment and guessed the cause. He ordered Asboth, the 
austere Hungarian, and the voluble Osterhaus to check the Confederates 
and help Sigel come through. They found the little German executing 
another of his spectacular retreats, with his artillery in the center of in- 
fantry columns. A wall of bayonets prevented Shelby's Confederate cav- 
alry from sweeping in from the flanks to kill the artillery horses. 

Throughout the day, as Asboth, Osterhaus, and Sigel fought their way 
to Pea Ridge, Curtis put the finishing touches on his defenses. He planned 
to meet the enemy where the wire road from Fayetteville to Springfield 
dipped into the Sugar Creek hollow. Here Davis and Carr had con- 
structed elaborate fortifications of dirt and logs, behind which cannon 
could be fired — an engineer's innovation. Grant and Sherman, back East, 
were still unlimbering artillery in open fields. Curtis fully expected Van- 
Dorn, with his superior numbers, to deploy before the breastworks and 
then extend his line around the Yankee's left wing. The Federal right and 
rear seemed safe under Pea Ridge, but his left was exposed at the north 
end of the ridge, where the Elk Horn Tavern stood on the wire road, and 
Curtis sent strong forces to occupy that area of the field. 

The Elk Horn Tavern was a frame house with a two-story porch on 
the south, and copious chimneys at both ends. This building was the first 
telegraph station south of Springfield. The operator, a Mr. Cox, lived here 
with his mother and young wife. Immediately behind the tavern a side 
road dropped down into a defile much too steep and narrow for maneu- 


vering troops. The east end of Pea Ridge began at the west side of this 
gulch and extended south for two miles. The precipitous granite escarp- 
ment, feathered on top with trees, sloped gradually north to a road through 
the woods. At the west end of Pea Ridge, and back from the wire road, 
stood the hamlet of Leetown — since disappeared — a dozen houses with 
blacksmith shop and grocery. 

At dusk on March 6, 1862, Sigel came tearing in with Asboth and Oster- 
haus. Shelby's cavalry followed them to within sight of the fortifications. 
Curtis moved his men north between Pea Ridge and Sugar Creek to make 
room for the Germans. At his extreme left he placed Carr, near the Elk 
Horn Tavern. In the center he stationed the gloomy Jefferson C. Davis. 
Next to him he placed Asboth, whose division had arrived first, then 
Osterhaus. The extreme right, where the fortifications were strongest, he 
assigned to Sigel. The little German directed his men to the position, rode 
to Curtis's tent, dismounted, threw back the flap, walked in and said that 
he was hungry. Curtis would have preferred some remark about the ade- 
quacy of the fortifications or the selection of the battlefield. What kind of 
man was this fellow Sigel? 

The four Federal divisions, waiting in line for tomorrow's battle, made 
merry during the night, cheering defiantly around their roaring camp- 
fires. The snow, which had been pelting VanDorn in the south, began to 
fall at Pea Ridge, whitening the ground. In plain sight, across Sugar 
Creek, the Confederates' bivouac fires appeared like yellow stars twink- 
ling along the blue-white wire road as far as the Yanks could see. Closest 
to them were Shelby's horsemen. Next Price's Missourians squatted around 
their fires. Behind them stood McCulloch's and Mcintosh's Arkansans and 
Texans. Colonel Louis Hebert followed with his Third Louisiana. These 
veterans of Wilson's Creek were eager to give Curtis some of Lyon's 
medicine. At the rear, Indians streamed in until midnight, lighting new 
fires as they turned out of the road to bivouac. 

VanDorn's army had marched fifty-five miles in three days against wet, 
driving snow. Their rations were gone and in the morning they would 
fight for the enemy's supplies. Out in the dark wintry fields, two figures 
stumbled into the light of a bivouac fire. Humped with cold, hands in 
pockets for warmth, they held their horses by looping the reins under their 
arms. Private Grimes and his companion asked where, in these thousands 


of men. thev might find their outfit — the First Missouri Cavalrv,. Com- 
panv K. 

March 7, 1862. dawned cold and clear, with not a man in sight south of 
Sugar Creek. Where had VanDorn's armv gone : Curtis's men lined up 
around their cook fires for a good hot breakfast as thev asked this per- 
plexing question. 

X X I 

The Battle of Pea Ridge 

The battle of Pea Ridge began at about 10:30 a.m. on March 7, 1862. 
General Curtis was a precise engineer, so his recollection of the minute 
must be correct. VanDorn had slipped quietly away from the bivouac 
during the night, leaving fires burning deceptively along Curtis's front. 
In the darkness he had marched around the north side of Pea Ridge to 
strike Curtis in his left rear at the Elk Horn Tavern. He expected Curtis 
to concentrate and fend off this blow. Then VanDorn planned a second 
surprise attack around the south end of Pea Ridge at Leetown. The ma- 
neuver was much the same as Lyon's strategy at Wilson's Creek, but 
VanDorn had more, instead of fewer, men than his antagonist. The night 
march was longest for Sterling Price's Missourians, who traversed the full 
length of Pea Ridge to the defile behind the Elk Horn Tavern. McCulloch 
and Mcintosh, with their Texans, Arkansans, Louisianans, and Pike's In- 
dians, were assigned the shorter march to the southern end of the ridge. 
Daylight came long before VanDorn's men reached their stations. The 
delay gave Curtis ample time to discover the enemy's new plan of attack 
and, instead of being struck in the rear, Curtis ordered an about-face and 
stood ready to meet the foe on a reversed front. Moreover, his men — with 
the exception of Sigel's — were fresh and eager to fight the tired Confed- 
erates. Although outnumbered, Curtis had shorter communication lines 
and could shuttle reserves as needed. On the Confederate side, VanDorn 
felt ill. He had rashly swum on horseback across an icy river to join the 
command, although he had not recovered from the earlier fall from his 
horse. However, VanDorn was not one to postpone a battle for personal 
indisposition. He determined to direct the battle from an ambulance with 
his blooded trotting mare hitched to the side for emergencies. The benign 


and bell-voiced Pap Price followed the vehicle on his charger, answering 
questions, identifying passing military units, watching respectfully his 
commander's Airedale mustache, aggressive, imperial, and jaunty kepi 
at the ambulance's uprolled curtain. 

A mile from the Elk Horn Tavern the Union pickets fired at the ad- 
vancing Confederates and retreated up the gulch through the brush. 
Price's butternuts deployed slowly in the scrub oak, pushing their lines 
out on the steep hillsides until they reached the summits. 

Waiting for them in the open country at the head of the hollow by the 
tavern, General Carr placed his twenty-five hundred men and twelve 
cannon to hold the sixty-five hundred, then galloped along the line — a 
perfect horseman, his Cossack beard covering the upper four brass but- 
tons on his blue coat. With the critical eyes of a professional soldier, Carr 
appraised his position. At the extreme right he ordered frock-coated Colo- 
nel Grenville Dodge, pale from a recent illness, to dislodge the enemy in 
the brushy slopes east of the hollow and open a flank fire on the enemy in 
the gulch. Level-eyed Dodge moved a battalion of his'rJiack Coats into the 
russet underbrush. Then Carr ordered skirmishers down the road into 
the hollow to meet the enemy column. He watched them pull hatbrims 
over their eyes as they entered the danger zone, as though to protect 
themselves from rain instead of bullets. Behind the foremost battery, be- 
side the tavern, Carr placed a blue wall of reserves. His guns were un- 
limbered along the wire road at proper intervals to protect each other. 
From the east end of the tavern's second story, Carr could direct the fire 
into the hollow. Puffs of smoke down there and whistling shells overhead 
disclosed the enemy's guns in the woods. Carr recognized a familiar 
boom — ox-drawn Sacramento firing as she had at Wilson's Creek. "Al- 
ways count on splay-footed cattle to outhaul spike-footed mules in the 

Along the Union line, bursting shells kicked up dirt around the advance 
battery. A well-placed shot disabled three of the four guns. Two caissons 
exploded, killing all the men. A moment of silence followed the bom- 
bardment, then a horde in homespun charged up the hollow, boiling into 
Carr's divisions, threatening to roll up Curtis's whole right wing. This 
was the first blow VanDorn had planned. 

Carr, desperate for reinforcements, sent a messenger to headquarters. 


The courier delivered his note to the twenty resplendent horsemen who 
surrounded General Curtis with a gleam of gold and blue, and shining 
saddle leather. Another courier from the west end of the line dashed in 
with a request from Osterhaus for help at the south end of Pea Ridge. 
VanDorn's second blow had struck there. The aides, on their pawing 
chargers, waited respectfully for their commander to decide which way 
the reserves would be sent. 

Over at the left, Osterhaus had got into a hornets' nest. Shortly after 
breakfast he probed around the west end of Pea Ridge, hunting for the 
enemy. Beyond Leetown his scouts sighted a multitude of men across a 
field, all dressed in outlandish costumes. The Germans had no time to re- 
treat, so Osterhaus unlimbered his flying batteries behind a rail fence 
around a cabin dooryard. Then, before he could deploy his cavalry, the 
horde rushed on him, a great disorderly mass — black, white, and red — 
with guns, cutlasses, bows and arrows. 

Osterhaus and his men had never seen anything like this before and 
were not trained to meet it. The Indians swept forward brandishing rifles, 
knives, and tomahawks, while barking shrill, unearthly signals. Oster- 
haus's trained infantry battalion broke and fled, some scampering this 
way, some that. Soon Choctaw, German, and Texan were milling in a 
confused and bewildering rabble, shouting, shooting, and running. 

Osterhaus's cavalry, armed with revolvers and sabers, wheeled their 
horses and spurred back through Leetown, back through the fluttering 
yellow flags which marked the hospital area, back through the waiting 
lines of the Fifty-ninth Illinois Infantry beyond, shouting as they passed: 
"Turn back! Turn back!" 

Texans led the Confederate charge, and behind them came Stand 
Watie's dismounted cavalry and next, on horseback, Drew's regiment — 
the "pins" watching for an opportunity to change to the Union side, or go 
home as they had in the fight with Opothleyoholo, but the excitement of 
sudden victory confused them. With shouts of laughter they danced 
around the abandoned "shooting wagons," roaring delightedly as they 
held horse collars around their necks and pranced about with harness 
chains jingling. "Me big In'gen, big as horse." 

McCulloch took instant advantage of this break in the Union left and 
launched a third attack on Curtis's center, where Jefferson C. Davis's 


precious reserves waited under the protection of Pea Ridge. Osterhaus, in 
the meantime, tried to take back his batteries with a charge by the Twenty- 
second Indiana and the Thirty-sixth Illinois, sending at the same time to 
Curtis for reserves. This courier had arrived at headquarters just as Carr's 
appeal for help reached the commanding general. With the Union right 
being pushed back and shot to pieces, with the Indian horde crumpling 
the left, and a wedge being driven in the center, Curtis must act quickly. 
Which way should his reserves be sent? 

On the Confederate side, Pike gloated over his Indians' achievements 
until he tried to reorganize them for another charge. Then he discovered 
that the red men were uncontrollable under artillery fire. They refused to 
lie down and let the shells pass harmlessly overhead. Most of the Indians 
wanted to fight individually — to climb trees or shoot from behind rocks 
at the distant enemv, perhaps at their fellow. Confederates, for Drew's 
confused regiment still wanted to fight for the Union. With the Indians 
almost useless, McCulloch determined to hold the new line. He brought 
up the Sixteenth Arkansas behind a tree-lined fence and sent it forward 
against Osterhaus's infantry, which had stood fire when the cavalry ske- 
daddled. General McCulloch, conspicuous in dove-colored coat, sky-blue 
pantaloons, and Duke of Wellington boots, rode immediately behind his 
skirmishers and ahead of the Sixteenth Arkansas's advancing battle lines. 
The Thirty-sixth Illinois, crouching behind a fence, opened fire and drove 
them back, retaking much of the field. The routed Arkansans re-formed 
and charged again in the tall grass. Sixty yards from the fence they 
stumbled over the limp bodv of an officer stripped of arms and gold watch 
but still wearing Wellington boots. 

General Mcintosh, hearing of his chief's death, rallied the men for ven- 
geance and went forward — to fall dead himself within an hour. Thus the 
top command of the Confederates' right wing devolved on Albert Pike, 
who did not learn about his new rank until 3 p.m., when his Indians were 
too disorganized to even hold the line. 

The Federals, swarming back over the field where the Indians had cap- 
tured the battery, found thirty or forty scalped corpses. Some of the dead 
men's skulls had been cleft with bowie knives "mangling brains, and blood 
and hair." A private of the Ninth Missouri, finding his brother scalped, 
determined to retaliate tomorrow. 


VanDorn's entire right-wing action had been a feint to draw reinforce- 
ments from the Federal center while Price pushed the Confederates' left 
column up the wooded hollow against Carr at the Elk Horn Tavern, 
Curtis responded to the feint as the Southern commanders expected. He 
reinforced his left and trusted Carr, the regular, to hold the right without 
help. Carr, watching the road for reinforcements as he rallied his men, 
pushed the Confederates back into the hollow, then galloped over to see 
Dodge on his extreme right. He found the chunky little black-coated 
colonel wounded. A surgeon was binding his arm as he sat in the sad- 
dle — no time to dismount. His artillery was raking the brushy hillside 
ahead of his skirmishers to hold back the enemy from turning his flank. 
While Carr talked with Dodge, there was a lull in the enemy's artillery 
fire back at the tavern. Then butternuts charged up the hollow again and 
plunged into the Federal lines within three hundred yards of the tavern. 
The Union commander in charge there during Carr's absence, Colonel 
John S. Phelps, the Springfield congressman, rode courageously behind 
the Union Missourians. Three horses were shot from under him and a 
hundred and seventy-five of his soldiers fell, before Price's men slunk 
into the hollow a second time. 

Carr, galloping back to the scene, expected Price to re-form and attack 
again. He feared that his men could not stand a third onslaught and sent 
another desperate message to Curtis. The general, surrounded by his 
epauletted stafl, calculated constantly the shifting battle risks, and the 
number of daylight hours left for the fight. To keep him posted on every 
area of the field, a corps of couriers dashed back and forth along the dirt 
roads and scudded across the fields, bounding fences, jerking their mounts 
to a halt for the receipt or delivery of messages. One of these riders was 
Wild Bill Hickok, the spy, and during the day he used up four horses — 
one killed, three exhausted. Curtis fumed to himself because Sigel, tired 
from yesterday's retreat, took little part today. Both wings seemed to be 
crumbling, and efficient Jefferson C. Davis's reserves were now fighting 
to save themselves from the Confederate regiments which had slipped in 
from the. south, under Pea Ridge, and threatened to pierce the Union 
center. Curtis could spare no men from that line. 

Carr's men, waiting at sundown behind the Elk Horn Tavern, listened 
hopefully for reinforcements. They knew the meaning of the silence down 


in the gulch where the enemy had withdrawn. The Ninth Iowa formed in 
solid ranks around the mouth of the hollow to make the best defense they 
could against another charge. Artillerymen regrouped batteries where 
they could rake the enemy as it came over the crest. The men were hardly 
in position around their guns when Price's artillery began tossing shells 
along the wire road again — wrecking battery after battery. Another si- 
lence followed this carnage, then, in the twilight, hundreds of butternuts 
fanned out of the hollow once more, swirled around the tavern, thumped 
across the wooden porch — the owner and family cowering in the base- 
ment — and roared down the road. 

The Iowa artillerymen fled from their disabled pieces, but one of them, 
before he ran, tossed a blazing quilt on an abandoned caisson. Seconds 
later, as the rebels swarmed around the captured guns, he heard an ex- 
plosion and looked back to see gory tatters of. men tossed into the paling 
sky, some to hang dripping from the trees, others to plummet down 
through the branches and thud among the mangled bodies on the ground. 
Soldiers at Leetown, two miles away, saw the column of smoke, and 
Curtis sent two divisions under Asboth to relieve Carr. They arrived 
at dusk and Carr's and Dodge's bleeding regiments retired through their 

In the dark Curtis rode around his battered lines. The scene was grim. 
His men had been pushed in at every front. Enemy campfires illuminated 
the tavern up to the elk horns on the rooftree. On the lower porch corpses 
were corded like wood. The Union soldiers lay on their arms a quarter of 
a mile down the wire road. The enemy, under Pea Ridge, bivouacked in 
places so close to the Federal line that their low grumbling voices and an 
occasional nervous laugh could be heard in the dark. One Union caisson 
drove, by mistake, into an enemy's camp. Back at safer distances, boyish 
voices on both sides sang the same sentimental songs. Southern boys en- 
joyed shouting: 

Jeff Davis is a President; 

Abe Lincoln is a fool; 
Jeff Davis rides a big bay horse; 

Abe Lincoln rides a mule. 

After finishing his inspection in the dark, General Curtis returned to 
headquarters and learned that Sigel was marching his men back to their 


encampment for supper. Curtis had been irritated all day by the German's 
relative inactivity. Now, contrary to his deliberate nature, he snapped a 
peremptory command: "Let Sigel's men hold their lines. Send supper 
out, not the men in." 

In Curtis's tent, orderlies had spread blankets on a pile of straw. The 
general lay down, fully dressed, and summoned all division commanders 
to a council. At midnight the tired officers dismounted stiffly in the chill 
night air and limped in for the conference. Carr, Dodge, and Asboth — 
all of them wounded — were gloomy about success. Lieutenant Colonel 
Frank J. Herron, the Captain Herron of Wilson's Creek — youthful head 
of a Dubuque bank established by wealthy Pennsylvania parents — had 
been left wounded in the field for the enemy to capture. Not a single com- 
mander could report an advance. Supply lines and all communications 
were completely stopped. Sigel maintained that the army's only hope was 
to cut its way out in the morning — a movement in which he excelled. • 
The advantage seemed to be with the Confederacy, truly enough, but 
Curtis moved too slowly to give in at once. He knew that McCulloch and 
Mcintosh had both been killed, that the Louisianan, Louis Hebert, was a 
prisoner, that the Indians were probably disorganized permanently, and 
that by drawing the Federal wings together, his forces could be reknit to 
strike with double strength. 

Curtis's commanders trooped back to their lines with orders to consoli- 
date and renew the fight at dawn. Colonels passed the word to captains 
who whispered orders along the fence rows. In hollows, out of sight of 
the enemy, soldiers built fires, cooked flapjacks, and boiled coffee in muddy 
snow water — their first food in almost twenty-four hours. Cramming 
victuals into ravenous mouths, they exchanged experiences, and vowed 
to beat the enemy in the morning. One man displayed three bullet holes 
in his hat, another told how a buckshot had snapped the ramrod from his 
fingers. Private Peter Pelican of Company B, Thirty-sixth Illinois, dis- 
played a gold watch he had taken from an officer in top boots and "sky 
blue britches" after shooting him from his horse. Pelican's squadmates 
cherished McCulloch's belt and pistols. A German in the Thirty-fifth 
Illinois claimed that one of the earrings he wore to preserve his teeth (a 
superstition of the time) had been shot away, and while he was telling a 
comrade about the freak incident, a second bullet snipped off the other 


one. Privates in the Fifty-ninth Illinois joked about the recruit in their 
outfit who had dirt kicked in his eyes by a musket volley. "Damn the 
thing," he said, then turning his other end, exclaimed, "Now . . . shoot 
and be d — ed." 

In the Confederate camp VanDorn studied the cost he had paid for vic- 
tory — if a victory. He had learned about the deaths of McCulloch and 
Mcintosh in midafternoon but had kept the information from Price's 
men, until Pike stumbled in with the remnant of his Indians during the 
night. Only Stand Watie's Cherokee and Chilly Mcintosh's two hundred 
Creeks remained loyal to the Confederacy. Drew's disorganized regiment 
was already on the way back to Indian Territory. VanDorn ordered the 
Indians who stayed to take positions on top of Pea Ridge at the extreme 
right and await the opening of tomorrow's battle. 

Saturday, March 8, 1862, dawned without, a breeze in the blue sky. 
Smoke from the battle hung like drapery over the fields, woodlands, and 
mountains. The sun shown wanly, through a copper haze, on the waiting 
men. VanDorn opened the ball with a cannon blast into the smoke, arous- 
ing the Union boys from naps after breakfast. They were better fed and 
better rested than the enemy, in spite of the ground they had lost. 

Curtis rechecked his constricted position. Confederates held Pea Ridge, 
the fields below it, and the Elk Horn Tavern. Their lines stretched east 
of the wire road for a mile — the area which Carr and Dodge had oc- 
cupied yesterday. Curtis decided to strike ' the nearest enemy first. He 
ordered Sigel, who had taken little part in yesterday's battle, to assume the 
initiative at once. The stubby little German deployed his forty guns against 
the enemy under Pea Ridge. Two hundred and fifty yards behind his 
batteries he placed the infantry, with orders to lie down in the muddy 
fields. Then Sigel rode calmly among the guns, as dignified as though 
being watched on parade. Often he dismounted, personally sighted a can- 
non, and gave orders for the fire. He was a genius with artillery this 
morning. Young Churchill Clark, Confederate from St. Louis, a son of 
Meriwether Lewis Clark and grandson of the explorer, felt a shell brush 
his mustache and quipped, "God! That was a close shave!" The next 
cannon ball took off his head. Hot shot kindled dry leaves in the woods. 
Fire crackled through the tall grass, burning the helplessly wounded, 
setting able-bodied men along the worm fences to dancing desperately, as 


though fighting bees. Clark's cousin, Captain William Clark Kennerly, 
remembered the horror of that day. Passing a field hospital under the 
ridge, he saw amputated arms in shirt sleeves, and legs with boots on feet, 
tossed out on the ground from operating tables. Hurrying across a corn- 
field under fire, he wondered why the farmer had not cleared off the 
fodder last fall, then wondered why he wondered why. The human mind 
acts strangely when afraid. 

In the inferno Curtis galloped around the field. Shells exploded over 
his flying head and under his horse's twinkling hoofs. Two orderlies were 
killed near him, but the engineer-commander remained absorbed in mili- 
tary calculations. Noting a weak line, he ordered the requisite number of 
men forward to strengthen it and dashed away consulting the second hand 
on his watch to see if the men appeared at designated locations on time. 

Under Sigel's persistent bombardment and Curtis's consolidation of 
troops, the Confederate regiments evacuated their positions below the 
ridge — Old Sacramento booming defiance to the last. Sigel ordered his 
guns forward, and soon his shells puffed along the ridge, scattering Stand 
Watie's Indians, blowing up Confederate batteries silhouetted in the trees. 
Within half an hour none remined. VanDorn sent replacements, but 
Sigel had learned the range so accurately that he blasted the new gun 
carriages as soon as the horses appeared against the sky. Meanwhile the 
Federal infantry advanced and opened fire. Their rifles crumpled butter- 
nut soldiers whose short-range shotguns left them almost helpless. Curtis 
noticed that the enemy was withdrawing before his fire superiority. Surely 
the time had come to turn a retreat into a rout. He ordered forward the 
Third and Seventeenth Missouri, the Thirty-sixth and part of the Forty- 
fourth Illinois. In solid formation, drums beating, flags waving, the ranks 
writhed across the fields like a great python. One undulating end coiled 
up the ridge. The center followed like a serpent moving sideways. Reserve 
regiments on the fields below cheered, hats and handkerchiefs sparkling 
like popcorn from the mass of men. "O, dot was lofely," Sigel exclaimed. 
Curtis pronounced the charge the finest ever "made on the American 

Beyond the tavern, Carr's and Davis's soldiers looked back over their 
shoulders and saw the great snake coiling up the side of Pea Ridge. They 
pleaded for a charge on their own front and with a cheer the officers let 


them go. In no time they swarmed through the woods, capturing three 
cannon and the Dallas Battery's silk flag. Confederate reserves heard their 
yell and thought their own men were charging. They rushed forward to 
participate but met the routed Texans coming helter-skelter to the rear. 
False rumors that Price and VanDorn had both been captured added to 
the confusion. As a matter of fact, Price's arm had been severely wounded, 
but he carried it in a sling and refused to leave the field. By eleven o'clock 
butternuts streamed down from the mountaintops — some going east, 
some north, some down the deep hollow behind the tavern — a disor- 
ganized rabble of exhausted men. All firing ceased and dignified Curtis 
shouted like a boy. Spurring along his lines, brown eyes dancing, he yelled, 
"Victory, victory." 

The men broke from their ranks, scattered out over the fields hunting 
souvenirs. They found many dead soldiers robbed of shoes and stock- 
ings — things needed most by the rebels. At one spot corpses lay so thick 
a man could walk on them for a hundred yards. The private of the Ninth 
Missouri who had found his brother scalped took nine in payment. 

A sudden alarm ended the gruesome revelry — a call to arms! Merry- 
makers had spied an oncoming column of butternuts marching down the 
road. Drums beat the long roll, men ran for their encampments and "fell 
in." Nose bags were snatched from tired horses and the protesting animals 
were kicked around in their places before gun carriages. Then, with the 
army organized for action again, the invading column hove in sight with 
a white flag. The leader wanted permission to bury his dead. 

Curtis granted the request and handed the officer a letter rebuking Van- 
Dorn for permitting his Indians to scalp their victims — the beginning of 
a provocative correspondence which terminated in the next few days in a 
way Curtis did not expect. In the meantime, Curtis repaired the battle 
damages and tallied his seven or eight hundred prisoners — among them 
the notorious Louis Hebert of the Third Louisiana and the insignificant 
Private Absalom Grimes. The former would be exchanged for Lieutenant 
Colonel Herron. Private Grimes would renew the anxiety he had pre- 
viously caused his captors and gain notoriety by novel efforts to escape, 
once by tunneling through a wall under his bed, and again by impersonat- 
ing a mechanic, oil can in hand, whom the guard left when all prisoners 
marched off a steamboat. Curtis's captives also included Bill Price, a 


nephew of Ol' Pap's and a member of the "so-called Confederate Con- 
gress." Eleven "civilized Indians" had been taken. The prisoners were 
marched north to Springfield with a suitable guard. Grim little Grenville 
Dodge, short neck bent and shoulders stooped from years behind a sur- 
veyor's transit, went along for hospitalization in St. Louis. His black frock 
coat was riddled with wagon nuts, bits of chain, and pebbles shot from 
cannon in the last hours of the fight. The Indians were to be exhibited as 
proof of Confederate barbarity, but none of them reached Rolla. Fearing 
torture, they tried to escape, one by one, and were all shot down by the 

VanDorn entered the conflict with an army estimated as numbering 
from 16,000 to 25,800 men, and on March n, 1862, he was reported to have 
only 2894 answer roll call — a misleading statement, for many more re- 
ported later. VanDorn declared his losses to be 1000 with an additional 
300 made prisoner. Curtis, with 10,500 men before the battle, admitted 
losing 1384 in killed, wounded, and missing. 

The day after the battle was warm, with a gentle rain sopping the blood- 
stained field, washing away the scars of war. Mrs. John S. Phelps drove 
down from Springfield with wagonloads of lint and medical supplies. 
The humid air soon became tainted with decaying flesh, and Curtis or- 
dered the encampment moved to a more healthful atmosphere. At the new 
site his tent was pitched beside a clear stream babbling from under blos- 
soming branches of sugar maples, pawpaws, cherries, and budding grape- 
vines. He wrote his brother — always more sentimentally than to his 
wife — that upland Arkansas resembled the Ohio woodlands they had 
known as boys. At dawn, he said, he awoke to music from striped wood- 
peckers, cooing doves, and bluebirds. Every evening he dropped to sleep 
with the carols of spring frogs in his ears. He described the scene of the 
recent battle as "silent and sad." "The vulture and the wolf have now 
communion, and the dead, friends and foes, sleep in the same lonely 
grave." The rocky ridge above the battleground, he hoped, would per- 
petuate the memory of the men who fell "for Civil and religious liberty" — 
surely a new motive for the Civil War. 

The routed rebel army fled in three directions, and Captain Shelby 
covered the retreat so skillfully that Sigel, following one column, sent back 
word to Curtis that VanDorn might readily re-form, and surround the 


Federal Army. Sigel always wanted to cut his way out in a masterly re- 

VanDorn himself wrote his sister on March 16 that he had withdrawn 
from the field "with tears in my eyes," the first time in his life to fall back 
from an enemv. "My eleventh battle." . . . "Hungry for two days." 

Many of Pike's Indians who started home on the first day of the battle 
looted the Confederate wagon train as they retreated. Pike, with his staff, 
a day later, skulked through the fields for forty miles until he overtook 
them. Stand Watie withdrew his mixbloods in good order. 

VanDorn, retreating in an opposite direction, replied to Curtis's com- 
plaint about Indian atrocities by saying that his red men were considered 
as civilized as the Germans who had killed Confederate prisoners in cold 
blood. VanDorn hoped that in the future all perpetrators "be brought to 
justice, whether German or Choctaw."' Years- later a Choctaw woman 
remembered that her people mailed scalps back to friends and relatives in 
Mississippi. At the time, the duly assembled Cherokee Council passed a 
resolution against atrocities "incompatible with usages of civilized na- 

The main Confederate column withdrew down the Favetteville road. 
Citizens of that charred and gutted village heard many rumors before it 
arrived. During the battle they were told that the South was winning and 
that Sigel had been killed. Then, to everyone's surprise, a carriage rolled 
into town containing McCulloch's body. The team stopped to display the 
corpse, then plodded on to Fort Smith where undertakers prepared it for 
burial — the fatal bullet falling from the general's clothes. 

In an hour, another carriage drove into Favetteville with the bodv of 
General James Mcintosh. He was carried into a residence and citizens 
filed past looking at his bearded face, his thinning hair, and the dead 
leaves still clinging to his overcoat. 

Next dav the defeated army streamed into town, not the neat column of 
four men abreast that had marched north but a rabble filling the fifty-foot 
road. Few had guns, knapsacks, or blankets. Many were bareheaded. The 
mob seemed endless, but at sundown came two cavalry regiments in for- 
mation — obviously the rear guard. For a week longer, gangs of miserable 
men straggled through town. Others were found camping in the woods. 
Many scattered to their homes, never reporting again for muster. Others 


organized as bushwhackers to live by plunder. During the summer one 
gang of a thousand freebooters encamped on the edge of Fayetteville, 
their presence terrifying everybody. 

Price retreated with his Missourians toward the east, earning for himself 
the nickname of "Old Skedad." The St. Joe Herald poked fun at the two- 
hundred-and-ninety-pound giant running away and reported, "As a racer 
he has seen few equals for his weight." Evidently enjoying the joke, the 
editor continued: "General Price is said to be careless in some of his mili- 
tary arrangements but he always keeps his rear open." 

Curtis followed Price cautiously, but the Confederate legislature at Little 
Rock packed to flee. Other armies were concentrating for a decisive battle 
east of the Mississippi near Shiloh, and VanDorn hurried the remnant of 
his army across to take part and re-establish his military reputation. Price 
urged his Missourians to follow. Some did so, but many turned back to 
Missouri to lurk in the woods near their homes, to live by stealing, and 
eventually join Quantrill or other freebooters. 

To stop Curtis, a new commander named Thomas C. Hindman ap- 
peared in eastern Arkansas. He was a dapper little man, five feet one inch 
tall, who dressed in tight-fitting clothes, ruffled shirts, and patent-leather 
boots. Lamed in an accident, he wore one boot heel higher than the other 
but considered himself the mirror of fashion. He had killed his man ac- 
cording to the gentleman's code, had written a sentimental novel, and 
been elected to Congress. In i860 he resigned to preach secession, joined 
the Confederate Army. As a member of a family of politicians — his 
father had participated in the Plaquamine Parish voting fraud — Hindman 
understood every angle of practical politics. He determined to prevent 
General Curtis from crossing Arkansas to aid the Federals east of the 
Mississippi and in the emergency ordered all available forces to bush- 
whack Union pickets, to burn bridges, destroy all food including growing 
crops, to pollute water "by killing cattle, ripping the carcasses open and 
throwing them in." Let men without arms forge their own pikes and 
lances, kill stragglers, break up wagon trains, scorch the earth so that no 
Union soldier could reach the Mississippi. 

The Bloodstained Kansas Banner 

Up the soft dirt highway into southwest Missouri rode Stand Watie 
with his Cherokee battalion. The soggy spring woods stood empty in 
April 1862 — deserted by the Federal defenders who had gone to fight at 
Shiloh. Here and there old men, cripples, and, boys assembled in local 
farming communities to defend their homes from the Cherokee. Neosho 
and Cowskin Prairie were far away from Lincoln and his military ad- 
visers. Nearer theaters of war demanded their attention. In Virginia, Mc- 
Clellan seemed exasperatingly inept. Grant's success at Donelson had been 
eclipsed by confusion and butchery at Shiloh. Casualty lists were still com- 
ing in. Only Jim Lane kept nagging incessantly for attention, for adequate 
protection on the border. Constantly he urged the enlistment of refugee 
Indians in Kansas. Let these embittered people drive back Stand Watie's 
raiders and reassert Federal authority in the territory. 

Lincoln finally consented, specifying that the red men must not be em- 
ployed in the giant jayhawking expedition Lane had advocated, but only 
as a punitive force — Indian against Indian. Lincoln had sidetracked Lane 
from the command of the larger proposed expedition to the gulf. Now he 
authorized a Lane man, William Weer, to command a smaller project. 
Weer was a lawyer from Wyandotte, Kansas, with military ambitions and 
a fondness for drink. In the territorial days he had captained a gang of 
jay hawkers, and stolen Missouri horses in accordance with the Kansas 

William Weer was authorized to enlist two Indian regiments — one 
Creek, the other Cherokee — making fifteen hundred in all. To stiffen 
these units, two regiments of white infantry, three of cavalry, and two 
batteries were added. The column started south in June when the grass 


became tall enough to sustain the horses. A missionary, Evan Jones, ac- 
companied the force with a confidential message for Chief John Ross. The 
North showed little interest in the expedition. New Orleans had just 
fallen to "Beast" Butler, and dispatches from the Crescent City monopo- 
lized the news. 

All uniforms issued to the Indians seemed to be too large or too small, 
with sleeves overhanging hands or reaching only below elbows. High- 
crowned hats perched precariously on heads with braids dangling below 
shoulders. The warriors' faces were carefully painted like plains Indians'. 
As they jogged along, in column of four's, a war song started in the front 
ranks and surged to the rear. Over the prairie ahead, a thunderstorm 
blackened the sky like "a lid on a pot." Private Albert Greene, in the white 
cavalry — the Ninth Kansas — thought he could hear Stand Watie's 
laughter in the thunder. 

Colonel Weer marched rapidly in his search for Watie, but the chief 
galloped back into the territory, refusing to fight. Without firing a shot, 
the Federal Indians captured Tahlequah, the Cherokee capital. Seventy- 
two-year-old John Ross surrendered readily. His young Quaker wife and 
her sister, as well as household treasures and the Cherokee Nation's ar- 
chives, were loaded in several carriages to be sent to Washington. Chero- 
kee flocked to Weer's encampment by dozens asking to enlist. Many 
claimed to have been in Drew's brigade at the battle of Pea Ridge, said 
they had wanted to change sides there but were unable to make themselves 
understood. Weer organized them into a third Indian regiment under the 
command of Colonel William A. Phillips, the Scotsman who had made a 
name for himself in Kansas as an antislavery reporter for the New Yor\ 
Tribune. Horace Greeley had offered him $10,000 a year to be his corres- 
pondent with the Army of the Potomac, but Phillips preferred active serv- 
ice with a colonel's pay in the West. Of the three Indian regiments his be- 
came the best. 

Inactivity and torrid summer heat soon broke the brigade's morale. All 
the Indians resented restraint. They hunted, rode, and frolicked independ- 
ently. The white soldiers fretted under the simmering sun. Colonel Weer, 
drunk in his tent, lost control of his army. Finally the officers went in a 
body, arrested their commander and marched back to Missouri under 
Frederick Salomon, ranking colonel. 


The border, during the brigade's absence, had lapsed into near chaos. 
Deserters from Price's column at Pea Ridge had returned home to pillage 
the countryside. Charles Quantrill was making a name for himself and a 
new guerrilla, Bloody Bill Anderson, had joined his band. Then in July 
1862, after the distressing Seven Days' Battle in Virginia, Lincoln called 
for three hundred thousand additional men. The freebooters cheered. Let 
the border send its quota and Confederate guerrillas would take over Mis- 

Across the state line in Kansas, buoyant, irrepressible Senator Lane 
offered to raise five regiments for Lincoln's call. He pointed to the success 
of enlisting Indians — questionable certainly — and asked now to recruit 
Negroes from the thousands who had escaped into Kansas. 

Lincoln needed those five regiments, but he still opposed giving the 
Grim Chieftain a commission to march freed slaves into the South under 
"the blood-stained Kansas banner" which Lane advocated. The President 
sidetracked Lane again by appointing him Commissioner for Recruiting 
in the Department of Kansas with verbal authorization to organize Negro 
regiments — probably the first in the Civil War. The plan was to feed, 
clothe, and drill these fugitives until Negro troops were officially author- 

Lane opened a recruiting office in Leavenworth. He appointed his son- 
in-law colonel of one regiment and Thomas Ewing, Jr., whose brother-in- 
law, William Tecumseh Sherman, was now major general of volunteers, 
to head another. With the histrionic oratory which Kansas relished, Lane 
stumped the state talking down to the rabble, purposely mispronouncing 
"Topeka" as "Topeko" and "Leavenworth" as "Leavingsworth." His ene- 
mies censured him for his methods, said that it would split the Republi- 
can Party, even urged citizens to protest the enlistment of Negro soldiers. 
"Great God!" Lane replied in an answering speech. "They say Jim Lane 
can't enlist colored troops at Junction City! That is what I'm here for. 
And" — taking a blank sheet of paper from his pocket — "I hold in my 
hands a list of the copperhead, disloyal and rebel element in this commu- 
nity; and when I get through organizing colored troops, I am going to 
draft these men as cooks for the Negro regiments." 

By mid-August the newspapers reported Negroes in red pantaloons, 
drilling with great precision. Jokers called them Zouaves d'Afrique. Others 


quipped that scarlatina had broken out in the Kansas army. Lincoln, as 
agreed, was sending them new uniforms purchased, in the emergency, 
from France, but as yet no money was available for the Negro soldiers' 

The recruiting had hardly commenced when Quantrill, on August 11, 
1862, captured Independence, Missouri. Several women were suspected of 
conspiring with him to betray the town. Already, the fair sex was be- 
ginning to romanticize the slim bandit with the broad mustache and 
voluptuous smile. In the raid, he captured an exceptionally fine brown 
horse which he named Charley, his own given name. Almost immediately, 
Quantrill was commissioned a captain in the Confederate Army. He ap- 
pointed George Todd and William Gregg lieutenants. Todd had been an 
itinerant stonemason and ditchdigger in Kansas City. Though worthless 
and sulky as a workman, he had made a name for himself as a dogged 
fighter. Gregg, a more intelligent man, had served as deputy sheriff of 
Jackson County. 

Five days later, on August 16, a band of guerrillas under Upton Hays 
attacked and fought a comparable number of Union guards at Lone Jack, 
twenty-five miles below Independence. The embattled farmers on both 
sides fought desperately. A hundred and twenty-five men were killed be- 
fore Hays called in his men and rode south with Quantrill to plan more 

With the worst of the bushwhackers gone and most of the soldiers in 
Tennessee preparing for the battle shaping itself at Corinth, trouble 
bubbled from a new source. The "farmer" Sioux in Minnesota had joined 
the "blanket" Sioux in the massacre of two or three hundred white set- 
tlers. A delegation of the Sioux' tribal enemies came to Leavenworth offer- 
ing their people's services to Senator Lane. The Grim Chieftain knew that 
General Pope — after his defeat at Second Bull Run — was being sent to 
quell the disturbances in the Northwest, so he merely promised to help 
the Indians protect themselves by furnishing them with what guns he 
could spare — which was none — and leave the question of their service to 
the great White Father. 

On August 24, 1862, Confederate Hindman became the official com- 
mander of the District of Arkansas, which included Missouri and Indian 
Territory. The jaunty little fellow with the curls, rose-colored kid gloves, 


and rattan cane had made a name for himself by impeding Curtis's march 
to the Mississippi after the Confederate defeat at Pea Ridge. He had been 
especially successful in organizing guerrilla bands. Although unpopular, 
he was a dynamo of ideas that succeeded miraculously even if they 
gained him many personal enemies. All his life Hindman had been a 
man who got whatever he sought. In 1856 he had married the girl of his 
choice despite the fact that her disapproving father had incarcerated her in 
a convent school. Hindman, disguising himself, entered the sanctuary and 
they eloped. Craving a fine brick house, he built one, despite a lack of 
money to pay the bills. This audacious wonder man had raised an army 
of twenty thousand in his district after all available men had, presumably, 
been shipped east of the Mississippi for the Corinth campaign. With sup- 
plies cut off from the East, he had commandeered muskets, medicine, and 
money. He started to manufacture percussion caps and small arms, oper- 
ated the lead mines and tan yards, discovered and began digging saltpeter 
for powder. He established chemical laboratories, making calomel, castor 
oil, and spirits of niter. Under him, women organized sewing circles to 
knit socks for soldiers. Even some Negroes became enthusiastic about his 
program. In VanBuren they were reported to have given a ball, charging 
fifty cents admission for the benefit of the "Suddern Fed'cy." Most impor- 
tant of all was his successful propaganda to exaggerate the number of 
his forces and then keep Little Rock in Confederate hands after Memphis 
had fallen and White River was open for gunboats to within sixty miles 
of the capital. 

Hindman learned of the guerrilla victories at Independence and Lone 
Jack. The successful bushwhackers were reported to be riding south, and 
Hindman proposed to join them for a new conquest. He organized three 
regiments of exiled Missourians under Shelby and called on Albert Pike 
to bring his Indian brigade. Pike responded slowly. He had quarreled with 
McCulloch for persistently taking the Indians' uniforms and supplies. 
Hindman, never one to be denied, repeated the order, and Pike resigned. 
Douglas Cooper immediately applied for Pike's post — Indian commis- 
sioner and brigadier general. As Indian agent he had great influence with 
the Choctaw and Chickasaw, and he had commanded them in battles 
against the "pins," but his reputation for sobriety had not improved since 
his retreat from Bird Creek in December 1861. However, he was appointed 


acting commander and moved the brigade north along with the battalion 
under Stand Watie, new chief of the Cherokee since the "capture" of 
John Ross. 

The combined column was now reported to number forty thousand — 
another Hindman exaggeration perhaps — so Schofield, commander of 
the district, appealed for reinforcements from Department Commander 
Samuel Curtis, who had succeeded Halleck at St. Louis. (Successful offi- 
cers were rising like rockets to the top echelons of command!) Curtis 
sent down a brigade from Kansas under command of James G. Blunt, 
the soggy-built terrier of a man, with dark, deep-set eyes, bristling black 
mustache, and little aggressive goatee. A born scrapper with a mathemati- 
cal brain and flair for artillery, this rip-roaring abolitionist hurried south, 
met Salomon and learned that Upton Hays, Shelby, and Cooper — only 
part of Hindman's army — held an impregnable position behind the stone 
walls of Newtonia, a town between Springfield and Neosho, Missouri. 
Hindman had reorganized Shelby's riders into an organization its leader 
delighted to call the Iron Brigade. Schofield himself came to direct the 
attack against this Confederate concentration. On October 4, 1862, he sent 
the rebels flying. Upton Hays was killed. Cooper retreated to Indian Ter- 
ritory. Shelby led his wild horsemen into the brushy Boston Mountains 
southwest of Fayetteville. 

Blunt led a pursuit and overtook Cooper's Indians at Old Fort Wayne, 
Indian Territory, on October 22, capturing all their artillery and scattering 
them like chaff in a fan mill. With no tangible army left to fight, the 
Union column came back to Arkansas. Schofield being ill, and believing 
the campaign finished until spring, returned to St. Louis. 

The Union Army settled down for a winter of border-patrol duty 
against guerrillas. Headquarter encampments were located for over a 
hundred miles along the wire road. Blunt remained at the southern ex- 
tremity on Lindsay's Prairie. Other divisions camped at the Pea Ridge 
battlefield and at Wilson's Creek, where "Bottle-nosed" Totten, a division 
commander now, was in charge but temporarily absent on court-martial 
duty. His command devolved on wealthy, handsome, and vain Frank 
Herron, recovered from his wound at Pea Ridge, and already — at the age 
of twenty-five — a brigadier general commanding two divisions. The 
popular young general's men fretted at the old campground. They had 


satiated their appetites for souvenirs from the Wilson's Creek battlefield. 
Many of them had dropped rocks on the ever-increasing pile which 
marked the site where Lyon fell. Now they were eager for action. To hell 
with a winter camp here, when glory waited on other battlegrounds. 

Late in November, Blunt's scouts set the Lindsay's Prairie cantonment 
agog with a startling report. A division of Hindman's horse was coming 
through the Boston Mountains under the leadership of Marmaduke. This 
young Missouri officer had redeemed his performance at Boonville in 1861 
by gallantry at Shiloh and now commanded all of Hindman's cavalry — 
Missouri volunteers, Shelby's Iron Brigade, and the bushwhackers routed 
from Newtonia in October — as reckless and picturesque riders as ever 
cinched a saddle. Quantrill's men joined them too, but the guerrilla chief 
had gone back to Richmond seeking a higher commission. Quantrill's 
lieutenants, Todd and Gregg, were in charge. Dangerous men for Quan- 
trill to be with or be away from! 

Blunt started south with five thousand men and thirty cannon to meet 
Marmaduke. After a thirty-five-mile march he found the enemy, on No- 
vember 28, 1862, encamped at Cane Hill, a hamlet on the Fayetteville- 
VanBuren road just north of the Boston Mountains. The Confederates had 
looked forward to wintering in the rich and hospitable farming country 
west of Fayetteville, famous for its peach and apple brandy. Many of them 
remembered luscious feasts and gay dances here. Poetic Shelby likened his 
riders to Scottish Highlanders come to make merry on Lowland marches. 

Blunt deployed quickly for battle. He ordered Colonel Salomon to 
hold one division in reserve, and with the other two Blunt opened the 
attack. The Eleventh Kansas under Colonel Thomas Ewing, Jr., deployed 
with newly issued long-barreled muskets, each loaded with a .72 caliber 
ball and three buckshot. Beside the Eleventh advanced the Tenth Kansas 
under Colonel William Weer, sober when stimulated by the prospect of 
battle. Next came Colonel William Phillips, the real Scotsman — not the 
Sir Walter variety — with the Third Cherokee, best of the Northern In- 
dian organizations. Lieutenant Colonel L. R. Jewell led the Sixth Kansas 

Shelby's "Scottish Highlanders" and Marmaduke's more prosaic Mis- 
souri farmers fell back before the "Lowland" resistance. The two com- 
manders discussed the situation as they sat with chivalric staffs on 


neighing stallions, banners snapping in a northwest wind, russet leaves 
fluttering before an approaching storm. Marmaduke decided to entrap 
Blunt in the Boston Mountains — or at least get away before being de- 
feated. He would dismount his horsemen and retreat, fighting through a 
defile so narrow that the restricted firing line would offset the disparity in 
his and his enemy's numbers. 

For this maneuver, Marmaduke selected a road hemmed by brushy 
hills and gulches where Blunt could not flank him. He backed away to- 
ward it. As he did so, the sun pierced a rift in the clouds, illuminating a 
patch of scrub oak. Diminutive Shelby, always watchful for the spectacu- 
lar, spurred to the spotlight and striking an attitude before his Missouri 
farm boys, pointed a gauntleted hand and shouted: "It is the sun of Aus- 
terlitz" — brave words from a guerrilla preparing to run for his life. 

Blunt saw under the lowering storm clouds Marmaduke's broad line 
funneling into the defile. He realized that his enemy might escape under 
cover of the approaching rain and called for volunteers to charge, stop the 
vortex, and prevent an orderly retreat. Lieutenant Colonel Jewell of the 
Sixth Kansas offered to accept the risk. He raced down the road with half 
his regiment, lost his own life, and failed to seal the entrance. 

The last rebel horseman passed out of sight. Blunt followed, knowing 
that his superior numbers availed little in the restricted defile. The Con- 
federates arranged their companies so they could fire by volleys against 
the advancing Federals, then retreat through their own lines. Thus Blunt 
was always faced by a solid rank with loaded muskets — the trick Sigel 
had played with artillery at Carthage. Shelby, conducting the retreat, 
rode always behind the firing line to hold it firm. One of his captains fell 
beside him, red blood spurting in Shelby's face as the victim slid from his 
horse. Was there a couplet in Sir Walter Scott for such an experience ? The 
black plume on Shelby's own hat was clipped off by a bullet and horse 
after horse — all sorrels — collapsed between his legs. Shelby boasted that 
he was bulletproof when riding a horse of that color. 

Once Shelby made a countercharge, hoping to turn the tide of battle, 
but he found Blunt's line as impenetrable as his own. Fifteen miles down 
the road, having fought every foot of the way, Marmaduke sent back a 
flag of truce asking to gather the dead and wounded. Blunt granted the 
request and inquired the name of the commander he had been fighting. 


He was told that it was Shelby — Shelby of Waverly, Missouri, who had 
crossed with his horsemen so many times to vote in Kansas before the 

During the night both sides withdrew. Shelby and Marmaduke sank 
deeper into the gloom of the Boston Mountains. Blunt decided to avoid a 
possible ambush in the winter woods. He turned around and marched 
back, fanning out on the rolling Cane Hill country. Half of the Union men 
had seen no action in the narrow defile, but his Eleventh Kansas had had 
its battle baptism. Colonel Tom Ewing's experience ranked far below 
brother-in-law Sherman's, which now included Bull Run, Shiloh, and an 
unsuccessful attack on Vicksburg. In the fighting, Major Plumb had lost 
his horse and he trudged along on foot. Captain Crawford — also with po- 
litical ambitions — mused to himself that the battle had begun awkwardly 
and was won gallantly — typical Crawford phraseology, thus lauding men 
in the ranks. The generalization seemed worth remembering. He might 
use it to advantage when these enlisted men voted in the next political 

Blunt settled down at Cane Hill. Major Plumb found an old printing 
press with fonts of English and Cherokee type which had been left behind 
by Evan Jones, the missionary. Plumb, a printer by trade and a politician 
by preference, started a regimental newspaper, the Buc\ and Ball. He had 
printed fifteen hundred copies when the startling news reached camp that 
Marmaduke was coming back again, this time with an army of twenty- 
five thousand men under Hindman — fifteen thousand by the most con- 
servative estimate. The Confederate was bringing the Arkansas conscripts 
he had mustered so miraculously in his district. With them came the In- 
dians Blunt had dispersed at Old Fort Wayne and Stand Watie's chivalrous 
mixbloods. Obviously Blunt's best maneuver to save his five thousand men 
was to retreat up the wire road and consolidate forces with Schofield in the 
District of Southwest Missouri, but black-eyed terrier Blunt did not know 
the meaning of the word "retreat." He telegraphed directly to Department 
Commander Samuel Curtis for reinforcements and prepared to meet 
Hindman at Cane Hill. 


The Battle of Prairie Grove 

At his camp on Wilson's Creek, Brigadier General Herron received a 
wire from Department Commander Curtis at eight o'clock in the morn- 
ing of December 3, 1862. It described Blunts predicament at Cane Hill 
and requested that reinforcements go :: his aid. Herron did not '■■ rait £01 
confirming orders from his immediate superiors Totten or Schofield. Self- 
reliant and brave to rashness, he grasped this opportunity of a lifetime to 
command two divisions in battle. His men were ordered to pack knap- 
sacks and be readv to march at noon. Sensitive about his society back- 
ground,. Herron realized that the ordeal ahead would be a test of his own 
and his men's mettle. He warned the soldiers that he expected them to 
make a record march without tenia :: equipment Knapsacks would be 
hauled in wagons. They must traverse a hundred and twenty-five miles of 
country roads before Hindman marched less than half that distance and 
overwhelmed Blunt. 

Herron 's men started south, swinging at route step, night and day — 
thirty-five miles in each twenty-four hours. They often ate their pork ra- 
tion raw, as they walked, and at every stop fell asleep in their tracks with 
half-chewed hardtack in their mouths. At day rests, without knapsacks, 
they drank coffee from tin cans picked up along the road. Officers prodded 
laggards and stragglers with the menace of death from guerrillas or im- 
prisonment by Confederate regulars: "Andersonville or hell!" Crossing 
the Pea Ridge battlefield on December 5, 1862, the men were too tired to 
hunt souvenirs, but noticed the scars of cannon balls on the Elk Horn 

At midnight on December 6, the first companies of Herron's infantry 
reached Fayetteville. A provost guard stood before each house with drawn 


sword to prevent looting. The men bivouacked in the streets, hugging fires 
piled high with pickets from dooryard fences. Hoarfrost, white as snow, 
covered the ground. Residents in sympathy with the Union passed among 
the soldiers with buckets and pitchers of hot tea. One more day's march — 
twenty-five miles — should put them at Cane Hill. Surely they would beat 
Hindman to Blunt's encampment. 

In the Boston Mountains, Hindman was confident that he would defeat 
Blunt before reinforcements arrived. Shelby led his van — an unpleasant 
job, for the weather turned suddenly cold in the hills. Icicles tinkled on the 
horses' beards and on the men's mustaches, too. Shelby had no tents or 
wagons. At night his sleepy men suffered around their campfires — always 
too hot on one side, too cold on the other. December 2, 1862 (the day be- 
fore Herron started his relief march) dawned with a change of weather. 
Rain poured from the leaden skies, pattering on the dry leaves, hissing in 
the fires. The troopers climbed, blinking and shivering, into wet saddles 
and slopped along through dreary scrub oaks. Shelby's new black plume 
became limp with water. At four in the afternoon snow began to fall, and 
he ordered a halt for the night. The men warmed their stiff muscles by 
chopping brush for shelters and building fires to dry their drenched 
clothes. Before morning the rain stopped and the weather turned cold 
again, with stars twinkling above bare twigs overhead. After breakfast 
they started another day's march. At three o'clock the van stopped when 
shot at by a scouting party from Blunt's Sixth Kansas. Shelby's men cap- 
tured twenty-two of them. The rest retreated toward Cane Hill. 

Shelby interviewed the prisoners, slyly trying to deceive them about the 
size of the Confederate Army. Then he paroled them on their word to 
fight no more and sent them back to the Union lines. He hoped that they 
would report being captured by a battalion of raiders instead of by the 
advance of a big army. 

Blunt was not deceived by the paroled prisoners' story. His spies had 
already informed him of the advance and he prepared to meet everything 
Hindman could send. On December 5, 1862, the Confederates appeared 
within eight miles of Cane Hill. Herron's infantry was still streaming past 
the Elk Horn Tavern, fifty miles away, but advance detachments of his 
cavalry were arriving at Cane Hill every few hours. One more day or day 


and a half should be sufficient for Herron to come in. Then, let Shelby, 
Marmaduke, and Hindman attack at their own peril! Blunt sent Frederick 
Salomon with his reserve brigade to guard the wagon train at Rhae's 
Mills and prepared his other two brigades for battle. 

After dark, Hindman emerged from the rough country below Cane 
Hill. Regiment after regiment coiled, snakelike, from the woodlands — 
horse, foot, and artillery, including grinning, ladder-backed Bledsoe with 
a new battery. Old Sacramento had been confiscated at Pea Ridge. Hind- 
man knew that Herron might reach Fayetteville before morning and that 
the Confederates' only chance was to strike one army or the other before 
they joined — divide and conquer. Always full of ideas and a good man- 
ager as well, he called his top officers to a midnight conference at his head- 
quarters in a farmhouse on December 6, 1862. 

Stumping back and forth on his good leg and high-heeled boot, Hind- 
man explained that he must "chaw up Herron for breakfast, and then turn 
and gobble up Blunt at dinner." To do this, campfires should be left burn- 
ing for miles opposite Blunt's front to give the impression that the whole 
Confederate Army was waiting to attack at dawn. Hindman explained 
that the moon would set early in the morning and when it did, all but a 
skeleton force was to slip off around Blunt's flank to the Fayetteville road, 
march east, and meet and defeat Herron, wherever he might be. General 
Marmaduke's horsemen were to lead the flank movement. He could use 
Shelby, Quantrill, and Stand Watie as seemed best. Colonel James Monroe, 
with the skeleton force, must hold Blunt's attention by continual feint 
attacks and skirmishes. Always efficient to the last detail, Hindman dis- 
tributed leaflets to be given to the men. Better to have them read, or 
puzzle over a printed page, than sit nervously idle in the calm before a 
battle! Hindman believed in putting into his army the careful thought 
which had made him successful in organizing the civilian economy of the 
state. Besides, he knew that many of his conscripts might be Unionists at 
heart. Let them read and ponder the principles for which Confederates 
fought. His leaflets warned them not to fire until ordered to do so, to shoot 
only after singling out a victim, and then to aim as low as his knees. 
When possible, pick off officers and kill all artillery horses. The instruc- 
tions also included a list of "don'ts :" 


Don't stop with your wounded comrade. The surgeons and infantry 
corps will take care of him. Do you go forward and avenge him. 
Don't break ranks to plunder. If we whip the enemy all he has will 
be ours. If not, the spoils will be of no benefit to us. Plunderers and strag- 
glers will be put to death upon the spot. File-closers are especially charged 
with this duty. The cavalry in the rear will likewise attend to it. 
Remember that the enemy you engage have no feelings of mercy or 
kindness towards you. His ranks are composed of Pin Indians, free- 
Negroes, Southern Tories, Kansas jayhawkers, and hired Dutch cut- 

Tomorrow's orders completed, Hindman bade his officers a peremptory 
good night. They mounted their horses and rode off into the darkness, 
admiring their general's efficiency though disliking his egotism. 

At four in the morning of the seventh, with no sign yet of the winter 
dawn, Hindman's sergeants aroused the soldiers from their fires for the 
stealthy flank escape. The moon had set and the night was black as pitch. 
Coughing, spitting, rubbing sleep from swollen eyes, the men grumbled 
in low tones about auguries and presentiments of good and bad luck for 
the day's fighting. Some felt a hidden meaning in the distant howl of a 
dog, the nearby shying of a horse, the memory of a trivial incident before 
the last battle, and its happy conclusion. While they stood in line before 
their fires, Shelby rode by. He reined his horse in front of Major David 
Shanks and told him to start with detachments from two regiments, one 
containing Quantrill's bushwhackers. (Quantrill himself was still in the 
East.) Shelby said that he would follow with a second force after a suitable 

Shanks listened to the instructions, smoothing, as he did so, a stray lock 
on his horse's mane. Then he lifted his plumed hat with a "Shelby salute" 
and galloped away. "Come on, brave boys!" In the van rode Quantrill's 
men in stolen blue uniforms — true bushwhacker disguise. Dave Pool, 
grimacing little comedian, commanded the outfit. The James boys, Frank 
and fifteen-year-old Jesse, rode in the ranks. Up hill and down, out of 
sight beyond the flank of Blunt's army, they galloped toward the Fayette- 
ville road. Shelby waited. Then as dawn, like milky v/ater, diffused the 
sky, he followed the van's horse tracks along the byroad through the win- 
ter woods. 

The bJue-clad bushwhackers swept down on the Fayetteville road, cap- 


turing twenty-one commissary wagons headed for Blunts lines under 
guard of a newly enlisted Arkansas troop of "Mountain Feds." The Con- 
federates did not know that a detachment of Hubbard's Third Missouri 
from Herron's column had just passed. The Mountain Feds, baffled by an 
attack from men in blue, turned tail and fled toward Fayetteville with 
Shanks and a half regiment yipping after them like a pack of hounds. 
Behind Shanks, Shelby slashed down through the trees as planned, gave 
quick orders for confiscating the wagons. Almost immediately he was at- 
tacked by the detachment of Hubbard's Third Missouri which heard the 
shooting behind them and came back. Completely surrounded and over- 
whelmed, the Iron Knight and all his staff surrendered. However, before 
side arms were handed over, Shanks and Poole loped back and captured 
Hubbard's three hundred seventy-three Union soldiers. Shelby, a free man 
once more, sent the prisoners with a detail to Marmaduke. Then Shelby 
aligned his forces and clattered down the Fayetteville road to find Herron 
and hold him until Hindman's infantry came to "chaw up Herron for 
breakfast, and then turn and gobble up Blunt at dinner." 

Meanwhile, back at Fayetteville, where Herron's troops had rested, 
shrill bugle calls roused them before dawn. The soldiers staggered off 
along the dark road. At seven o'clock their tired eyes saw horsemen 
pounding toward them — the "Mountain Feds" returning in panic, hat- 
less, hair streaming, newly issued uniforms discarded and rumpled, eyes 
wild with fear. "It was with the greatest difficulty," Herron reported, 
"that we got them checked, and prevented a general stampede . . . but 
with some hard talking, and my finally shooting one cowardly whelp off 
his horse, they halted." 

At this point in the battle maneuver, Hindman had the advantage but 
instead of following the Fayetteville road and aggressively attacking Her- 
ron's exhausted troops as they straggled toward him on the morning of 
December 7, 1862, Hindman lost his nerve, and stopped when he reached 
Prairie Grove church, on a ridge overlooking Illinois Creek between 
Fayetteville and Cane Hill. Below him, to the east, lay a patchwork of 
withered cornfields crosshatched with worm fences. Methodically, Hind- 
man placed Frost's and Parsons's Missourians, the conscripted Arkansans, 
Stand Watie's Indians, and Marmaduke's cavalry — eight thousand of his 
fabled horde — in a two-mile line to wait for an attack from Herron's six 


thousand footsore regiments, while Blunt, with at least eight thousand 
more Federals, stood on the alert eight miles away. 

To this battlefield Herron's tired column marched in solid formation 
with a battery on lead and the general riding close by. As his big guns 
splashed across Illinois Creek, Hindman's first shell burst over them. 
Other shells churned the ford and Herron knew that he dared not cross 
more guns or men. He ordered the first regiment in the column to lie 
down under the protection of the creek bank — and they did so, promptly 
dropping to sleep with Hindman's shells whistling overhead. Then Her- 
ron, with his characteristic rashness, galloped around the selected battle- 
field, alone except for one aide. He examined the terrain, floundered back 
across the ford, and ordered his engineers to cut a road through the woods 
to another crossing half a mile above. His batteries forded here and opened 
fire on Hindman, who was still concentrating his shots on the first battery 
that had crossed. Hindman immediately turned his artillery on the new 
guns. Thus, with the shelling diffused, the Union soldiers poured over 
Illinois Creek, extending their line opposite the enemy's, while their eight- 
een guns pounded the Confederates on the ridge. After two hours' bom- 
bardment Herron ordered his infantry to advance, under cover of worm 
fences, wood lots, and farmhouses. However, Shelby, at the extreme right, 
saw the Federals coming and prepared a decoy to entrap the lead com- 
panies. He abandoned four guns, with their horses tied in plain sight. Be- 
hind them, at point-blank range, he masked Collins's flying artillery, cau- 
tioning the commander, "When you see their hands upon the wheels, 
Dick, fire — not before." 

In a peach orchard an Irish regiment, the Twenty-fifth Illinois, spied 
the battery and ran toward it. "Be jabers but Rabb plays hell today with 
the rebs," one man shouted, as they swarmed around the guns, cheering, 
raising their canteens. The horses stood impassive. One master was as 
good as another to them. An officer ordered the animals killed, but no 
man obeyed. In a sharper tone he repeated the order, and the brutes were 
shot down, quivering in their chain harnesses. Then the hidden Confed- 
erate battery belched over the Irish soldiers, scattering twisted bodies 
through the orchard. One man hobbled away using his musket for a 
crutch. The commanding officer's horse — its saddle empty — staggered 
drunkenly through the trees, then collapsed. Behind it, the colonel limped 


to the rear using his sword for a cane. From their hiding place the "rebs" 
scampered out to loot. An Illinoisan with a shattered leg looked at a rebel : 
"For the love of God, friend," he begged, "kill me and put me beyond 
such intolerable misery." 

"Are you in yearnest," Shelby's rough Missourian asked, "and may I 
have your overcoat and canteen ? " 

"Yes, yes — everything," gasped the dying man. 

"Well, here goes — shut yer eyes and hold yer breath — *t will be over 
in a minnit." The Confederate placed his musket at the wounded man's 
head, blew out his life in a puff of smoke, and coolly took his coat. 
Uncorking his canteen, he smelled excellent Fayetteville brandy. "Huzza! 
Have one on me." Soon all corpses were being rifled for their canteens. 
"Three cheers for the Confederacy!" 

Hindman decided that the critical hour of the battle had come. A smash- 
ing blow now might bring victory. He resolved to counterattack with his 
entire line, but, to his dismay, he learned that one Arkansas regiment had 
deserted, leaving only its colonel and a few officers. These conscripts 
could not be trusted. Hindman had forged an efficient dictator's chain 
around Arkansas, but it might be only a chain of sand. He decided to can- 
cel his order for attack and hold the line only. 

Herron charged twice more but failed to budge the Confederates. Where 
was Blunt, who had summoned him for this battle? Herron knew him- 
self to be outnumbered, but he did not know about the deserting Arkan- 
sans. He expected Hindman to charge successfully any moment. Union 
officers, versed in the Napoleonic wars, told one another, "We must have 
night or Bliicher." 

Eight miles away at Cane Hill, stubby, black-haired Blunt, still uncon- 
scious of the departure of Hindman's main army, waited for an attack. 
His two divisions stood in battle line. South of them Blunt could see 
Colonel Monroe's skeleton force deployed in what appeared to be a far- 
flung battle line. Once a Confederate officer on a white horse rode across 
a distant wheat field, obviously — perhaps too obviously — inspecting the 
ground for an advance. A few random shots were exchanged between 
pickets but nothing more. Blunt's nervousness cumulated with the rising 
sun. Officers remembered that he had lacked consideration last night, 
seemed nervous and upset. In the dark the Tenth Illinois Cavalry, from 


Herron's column, had ridden into his lines after a ninety-mile forced 
march. The horses' hair was mud-caked and dead-looking from the long 
ordeal, their hocks bumped when they walked — evidently near exhaus- 
tion — yet Blunt had ordered the cavalry into line for a night patrol. The 
colonel remonstrated and Blunt admitted his error, assigning the regiment 
to a place for rest. At reveille they had turned out with all the men and 
stood in line, although still tired. The monotonous wait with no attack 
was irritating everybody. Some men lay down to sleep. Others burrowed 
into nearby strawstacks for warmth. By contrast, Blunt's Kansans, fully 
rested and eager for battle, danced hornpipes and scuffled on the stubble. 
A distant band played "Annie Laurie." An orderly rode up to General 
Blunt, saluted and presented him with a bottle of liquor, "with the compli- 
ments of General Salomon" — who had taken the first brigade to protect 
the wagon train at Rhae's Mills. Blunt put the bottle in his saddle pocket 
and dismounted to tighten his saddle girth. A colonel rode up. Blunt of- 
fered him a drink. The colonel declined. 

"Yes," Blunt drawled, "I think we've more important business on hand 
just now." Obviously he was hiding nervousness behind casual manners. 

Line officers busied themselves driving restless soldiers back into ranks, 
keeping them from straying. By eleven o'clock in the morning, Blunt's 
nervousness became more apparent. No dispatch riders had come through 
from Herron, so the Fayetteville road must be blocked. Blunt leaned for- 
ward on his pawing charger, stroking its mane absent-mindedly. Then 
he heard the distant boom of Hindman's guns opening on Herron at Il- 
linois Creek. 

"What was that?" Blunt sat erect in his saddle. Another, and another 
explosion throbbed in the distance. "My God, they're in our rear." Blunt 
snapped out quick orders to his aides. Drums began to roll, bugles 
screamed commands. Regiment after regiment shouldered arms and 
wheeled across the fields toward the Fayetteville road. Major Plumb 
thought first of his unpublished regimental paper. He staggered to an am- 
bulance with all the copies he could carry, tossed them in, admonished the 
driver to follow, and then joined his battalion. Infantry, cavalry, and 
artillery arrived on the road at the same time, jostling and pushing. "What 
are we doing?" "Which way?" 


Above the tumult, Blunt's voice was heard. "Tell the fool to 

turn to the right and come on." The little general galloped away, his 
charger's hoofs throwing rocks and clods over the rabble. The men cheered 
and followed, treading on laggards' heels. At every field and prairie, cav- 
alry regiments spurred around the infantry. Artillery postilions lashed 
their horses every jump, gunners lying flat on the carriages shouting 
"faster, faster" as the spinning wheels bounded from rock to hummock. In 
the contest Blunt outran his staff, arriving on the battlefield alone. With a 
practiced eye he selected battery and troop positions. Then his army 
rumbled in, artillery horses tired but excited, ears laid back, eyes wild 
from lashing, nostrils dilated and red as blood. Wheeling into battery 
under Blunt's orders, gunners jumped from the carriages like sailors in 
a gale, and stood at their positions. Two shots from the lead batteries an- 
nounced to Herron that Blunt had arrived — two shots that unhappily 
landed among Union skirmishers, for Blunt was, as yet, unfamiliar with 
the entire field. At first Herron mistook the shots for those of the Confed- 
erates and feared that he had been flanked. 

Across the battlefield Hindman recognized the newcomer as Blunt 
and hoped to demoralize him with a charge before the new Union lines 
were formed, but another regiment of Arkansans on his left wing sulked. 
These Ozark conscripts were ruining his army. He feared another defec- 
tion like the one on his right and ordered Marmaduke's cavalry to drive 
them into action. Goaded from behind, the Arkansans marched forward 
reluctantly and the charge failed. Blunt formed his line and, with Herron, 
had forty-two guns to spray grape and canister on the Confederates. 

After an hour's bombardment, Blunt ordered an advance. The way lay 
across farms, through bare orchards and shriveling stalks of corn. Soldiers 
moved from rail fence to hedge, and on to dwellings, stamping through 
barnyards amid squawking fowl and grunting hogs. Women and children 
cowered in cellars. Hindman's left wing retreated back into the woods, 
but Shelby galloped reserves along the line and the lost ground was re- 
taken. Confederates on the edge of the timber dared the "Feds" down in 
the fields to rout them out. Colonel A. W. Slayback of Marmaduke's stafT, 
dreaming of days gone by "when knights wore greaves and vizors, and 
when that war-cry rang over the iron of Bannockburn — 'St. James for 


Argentine,' " challenged any man to meet him in single combat. The Ar- 
kansas hill men, Missouri Union farmers, Illinois and Iowa small-town 
boys gaped in wonder, but they admired his courage too. 

From the Union lines rode Lieutenant Thomas Willhite, a Southerner 
to the manner born but commissioned in the Union Army. He was will- 
ing to pit his courage against the flower of Hindman's chivalry. Twenty 
paces from his adversary he fired his pistol. Slayback shot back at him. 
Neither man was hurt. Both fired again. Willhite lurched in his saddle, 
wheeled his horse and cantered back, slipping down in his own lines, a 
bullet in his thigh. Other champions on both sides galloped out to ex- 
change shots, "chivalrous as Bayard" — or irresponsible as Sioux war- 
riors, according to the point of view. 

Darkness crept over the armies' sputtering lines, a few last shells blaz- 
ing fiery arches across the night sky. Several strawstacks caught on fire. 
Wounded men were known to have crept into them for warmth, but 
nothing could be done about that now. While the moon was still high, 
Blunt ordered his wagons from Rhae's Mills to Fayetteville, so Salomon's 
fresh division could join tomorrow's battle. In addition, stragglers from 
Herron's forced march continued to arrive all night, swelling the Union 

Although obviously defeated, Hindman claimed the victory because 
his men held their original lines on Prairie Grove ridge when firing 
ceased, but he retreated secretly, after dark, with blankets wrapped around 
his cannon wheels. In the morning he sent back a white flag asking for a 
twelve-hour truce to tend the wounded and bury the dead. Blunt, deceived 
again about the withdrawal, granted the truce. Men from both sides 
trudged out with stretchers and many women came on horseback and in 
carriages to care for the wounded. They found some of Herron's men dead 
without a wound. Exposure in the December cold while exhausted from 
the march had killed them. The worst scene of horror was around the 
charred strawstacks. Here the smell of burning flesh had attracted hogs 
during the night. They had rooted through the black ashes, dragging out, 
fighting over, and devouring morsels of human bodies — intestines, heads, 
arms, and even hearts. 

Opposite Blunt's batteries, where Hindman had herded the Arkansas 
conscripts into an unwilling charge, the bodies lay close together and the 


ground was muddy with blood. The salvage crews picked up unshot bul- 
lets by the hatful. The conscripts had bitten them from the cartridges and 
fired only blank loads against their nation's flag. In their pockets searchers 
found the propaganda leaflets Hindman had distributed. 

Blunt's burial details reported that the Confederates were picking up 
arms from the field instead of wounded men. Blunt ordered this stopped. 
Some Confederate parties clattered away in high dudgeon to join the re- 
treating army. Others persisted in salvaging guns, until Blunt arrested 
them and sent them north with other prisoners. The total battle casualties 
were between twelve and thirteen hundred men on each side. Fayetteville 
churches and college buildings became hospitals, with suffering men laid 
out on the floors. Emergency operations were performed without anes- 
thetics, and eighty per cent of the patients who suffered amputations died. 

In St. Louis, District Commander Schofield had learned that Herron 
was marching to Blunt's relief. He believed a battle imminent and, ill 
though he was, Schofield raced to the front but failed to arrive before the 
battle of Prairie Grove was ended and all chance of gaining personal credit 
had passed. A pouting man when well, this educated upstart who had 
risen from lieutenant to brigadier general in three months whined that 
both Blunt and Herron had been outmaneuvered, and escaped annihila- 
tion only by chance. Why, he asked pointedly, had not Blunt gone part 
way to meet Herron, and why had Herron attacked with exhausted 
troops ? Regardless of these technical errors, the victory was badly needed 
for Federal morale. Without it, 1862 would have closed with the disasters 
at Fredericksburg, Holly Springs, and Stone's River. In spite of Schofield's 
censure, both Blunt and Herron received major general's stars for the ac- 
tion. Herron became the youngest man with that rank in the Northern 
Army. Thus both outranked Schofield. 

After the victory, Blunt and Herron rested while Major Plumb pub- 
lished his newspaper from the ambulance. Then the Union forces marched 
southwest. Colonel Phillips retook Fort Gibson with his Indians, and 
Blunt surprised Hindman at VanBuren, chasing his Texas cavalry, bare- 
back, bareheaded, and half dressed, down the main street. Four steamboat 
loads of Confederate supplies were burned and many wagons captured. 
Downriver, at Little Rock, the Confederate legislature packed up a second 
time to retreat. But Blunt was now far from his base, and Schofield, un- 


happy about the battle of Prairie Grove, called him back. Phillips, too, was 
ordered in from Indian Territory, and Fayetteville became the North's 
southwestern outpost. 

Shelby and Marmaduke could both teach Schofleld the futility of stay- 
ing close to a base. They planned cutting loose and raiding with a brigade 
across Missouri in midwinter. Shelby, like many a young man who has 
been reading poetry, felt the creative urge himself and wrote: 

Still Collins plies his lurid torch 

Where balls will rend or powder scorch; 

Still Shanks and Gordon, side by side, 
Like veteran heroes stem the tide. 

The Marmaduke-Shelby expedition was joined by Quantrill's gueril- 
las — commanded in the continued absence of their chief by Gregg and 
Todd. This column struck first at Springfield, Missouri — a hundred and 
thirty-five miles north of Blunt's headquarters — on January 8, 1863. The 
Union commander resisted them with two thousand men in four partly 
finished blockhouses. Shelby dismounted three regiments and advanced 
in infantry formation. A female academy was taken and one Federal gun 
was captured, but the blockhouses proved impregnable. Quantrill's men 
refused to fight on foot, and spent their time dragging Federal militiamen 
out of warm beds in the neighborhood. They also raided the much-abused 
farm of General John S. Phelps, who had been appointed, "on paper," the 
military governor of Arkansas. Blunt started up the wire road after them, 
but the raiders did not wait for him. Instead, they galloped eastward along 
the frozen road, reaping bountiful harvests of horses, Negroes, wagons, 
and overcoats on the way to Hartsville and Batesville. Shelby wanted to 
turn north and raid all the way to his home country, around Boonville and 
Lexington, but the weather turned cold in mid-January, and Marmaduke 
ordered a return to Arkansas. Shelby closed his report of the campaign 
with his usual poetic description : 

On the last day of December, 1862, when the old year was dying in 
the lap of the new, and January had sent its moaning winds to wail the 
requiem of the past, my brigade . . . [was] on the march for forays on 
the border's side [through] the grand old mountains standing bare 


against the dull and somber sky, their heads heavy with the storms of 

Finally, with further veiled inference, he reminded all interested friends 
that Missouri was one of the Confederate States — even if a quorum had 
failed to assemble for the secession vote. Shelby also added that he looked 
forward to renewing old acquaintances when bushwhacking became more 
pleasant as the leaves unrolled next spring. 


Quantrill Redresses Gettysburg 

C/Harles quantrill returned from Richmond disappointed over receiving 
only a colonel's commission. President Davis was insufficiently impressed 
by the freebooter's lascivious grin. The winter of 1 862-1 863 had been more 
severe than usual in the southwest. Natives complained that the "dam- 
yankis" brought their climate with them. On the border Quantrill was 
greeted sullenly by his lieutenants. George Todd, William Gregg, and 
Bloody Bill Anderson had carried on without him at Cane Hill, Prairie 
Grove, and Shelby's raid on Springfield. They resented QuantrilPs re- 
newal of authority. Quantrill dared not push the issue of rank to a con- 
clusion with such quick-trigger men. Instead of permitting them to chal- 
lenge his authority, he stayed away, loitering in the brush with a gamine 
he called Kate Clarke. 

The whole Confederate department had been reorganized. Hindman, 
after his defeat at Prairie Grove, was replaced by Theophilus Holmes, a 
stooped, sixty-year-old crony of Jefi Davis's, whom he commissioned lieu- 
tenant general. Pike's place was filled by William Steele, an ex-captain 
from the United States Army. Bushwhacking had become a recognized 
offensive. Out West the popular Confederate song, "Maryland, My Mary- 
land," was sung with new words: 

Jo Shelby's at your stable door; 
Where's your mule, 
Oh, where's your mule. 

The guerrillas were given further encouragement in April 1863. As new 
leaves began to protect woodland prowlers, Grant called on Curtis for all 
available men to help with a proposed siege of Vicksburg. Curtis knew the 


danger of abandoning Fayetteville and other southwestern posts, but he 
obeyed, holding only Helena and a few garrisons along the Mississippi. 
To fill the vacuum created by the withdrawal, he called in the Second 
Colorado from distant Denver for border patrol. Phillips's brigade of 
"pin" Indians and Kansas Negroes was ordered to march into Indian Ter- 
ritory and take the posts vacated by Union soldiers. Thus red men and 
black would be pitted against mixbloods in the southwest, and the Colo- 
rado boys could test their courage against Missouri bushwhackers — a 
savory assignment for Pikes Peak prospectors who had survived among 
wild Utes and Arapaho. 

Bushwhackers greeted the newcomers derisively. In the first skirmish 
with them, Dave Pool, the freebooting comedian, dared any of the Colo- 
rado "cowards" to single combat. His challenge was accepted instantly. 
A Colorado rowdy stepped out between the lines and promptly pinked 
Dave with a bullet. The bushwhacker was happy to return alive to his 
own men. He could grimace and laugh, but his companions knew that 
they were confronted with formidable fighters. Quantrill, always a man of 
moods — long periods of languor interspersed with burning activity — 
continued to dally with Kate in the brush, but he watched the new turn 
of affairs and waited for an opportunity to assert himself. 

The red and black replacements sent into the southwest proved equal 
to the job. Phillips's column of twenty-five hundred "pin" Indians and 
Negroes re-established Federal authority in the territory, protected the 
loyal Cherokee who met in formal council, repudiated the treaty with the 
Confederacy, outlawed Stand Watie and his fifty-five hundred followers. 
The rebel Indians' property was confiscated and all debts due them de- 
clared void. Henceforth, Watie's faction could be counted on to fight with 
the desperation of the condemned. 

To counter the continued Federal success, William Steele worked con- 
stantly to revitalize the Confederate Indian brigades. He also sent runners 
out among the wild Indians to gain their co-operation. This was not a new 
plan. Pike had tried it unsuccessfully in the summer of 1861, but no one 
was prepared for the concrete proposals of 1863 and the recoil which 
shocked the Western border in May. That month two Osages rode into 
Humbolt, Kansas, to report the massacre of some white men by their war- 
riors. Being half civilized, the head men feared the white man's might, 


and led Federal investigators to their village where snake-eyed warriors 
with roached hair, pates daubed with vermilion, and ears slit to ribbons 
and dangling with trinkets watched them sullenly. 

A few scalps were displayed : one coarse and curly — a man's beard, not 
head hair. The victim had been bald, the guide explained, so the disap- 
pointed warrior took the best substitute available. Other relics of the mas- 
sacre were extracted from the savages' duffel — some papers! These in- 
dicated that the dead men had been commissioned by the Confederate 
government to organize the "wild" Indians of the plains, the miners, 
Mexicans, and others beyond the border. 

The party seems to have numbered twenty-one, most of them officers 
of the Confederate Army. They had ridden stealthily for eighty miles 
across the Osage lands in what would later be Montgomery County, Kan- 
sas, and on the fatal day nooned in the shade of some oaks. A small band 
of Osage horsemen spied them and rode into camp as the whites were 
saddling. The Indians, disliking trespassers in their country, asked the 
white men's business, and insisted on taking them to the nearest Union 
garrison for identification. In the argument someone shot an Osage and 
the whites, now mounted, galloped away through a flurry of arrows. Un- 
knowingly, they ran toward an Osage village. Over the prairie swell ahead, 
they saw hundreds of feathered warriors sweeping down upon them. The 
Confederates wheeled, raced to the nearby Verdegris, slid down the bank, 
and sprinted out on a sand bar where, with their guns, they hoped to hold 
back bow-and-arrow pursuers. However, the situation seemed hopeless, 
and they raised a white flag in surrender. The Indians rode out, took their 
weapons, and scalped or beheaded them all. The only survivors were two 
men who had dropped out in the race — one of them Warner Lewis, kins- 
man of Meriwether Lewis, the explorer. These men hid under the river- 
bank until dark, then — guided by the stars — trudged across the prairie 
toward Missouri, night after night, hiding in daytime, until they reached 
the settlements. 

Thus Confederate plans for military diversion in the southwest misfired 
again! Grant, engrossed with his campaign against Vicksburg, called for 
more trans-Mississippi soldiers. Halleck in Washington levied a second 
draft on Curtis's department. Curtis replied that he could spare no more. 
Without further warning, Lincoln removed him and gave Schofield his 


department. Curtis was nonplussed and chagrined. His great victory at 
Pea Ridge had made him invulnerable, he believed. Yet Lincoln let him 
go. The reason seems plain enough. Lincoln's first consideration was to 
get every man he could for Grant. Governor Gamble had sufficient militia 
to replace Curtis's troops in Missouri but refused to co-operate because he 
disagreed with the general's "charcoal" radicalism. Not being able to re- 
move Gamble, Lincoln explained later, he therefore removed Curtis. The 
solution, however, proved no solution, and it served only as another of the 
circumstances shaping themselves for QuantrilPs great day. 

Schofield, aged thirty-two, took command on May 24, 1863. He found 
forty-three thousand men in his department and immediately sent almost 
half of them to Grant, then mustered Gamble's militia to police Missouri. 
Like Curtis, he retained his hold on Helena, Arkansas, and with Phillips 
at Fort Gibson, Indian Territory, raiding successfully toward Fort Smith 
on the Arkansas line, Schofield noticed that Little Rock lay between the 
pincers of his military machine. If he could capture the capital of Arkan- 
sas, and hold Missouri at the same time with half the number of men Cur- 
tis had used, he would make a great name for himself. 

But Schofield did not reckon with his host. The split in the Republican 
ranks, started by Blair and Fremont, was wider now than ever. The radi- 
cal abolitionists who had supported Curtis against Governor Gamble now 
accused Schofield of being too lenient to traitors. They said that his militia 
was in collusion with the bushwhackers, that freebooters joined only to 
get guns. The disconcerted radicals appealed for help to Jim Lane, the 
rabble rouser who considered anybody who voted against him a traitor. 

Lincoln saw at once that Schofield's administration would be hope- 
lessly hampered by these contending forces, so he reorganized the West, 
creating the District of the Border between Missouri and Kansas. To com- 
mand this buffer between Lane and the Missouri moderates, Lincoln pro- 
moted Colonel Thomas Ewing, Jr., to a brigadier's rank, jumping him 
over radical abolitionist General Blunt. Ewing had been a moderate Lane 
man who should blend adequately between the Grim Chieftain and con- 
servative Schofield. Moreover, Ewing's father was influential in the United 
States Senate. Young Ewing was no colorless stopgap, however. His 
slightly protruding lower lip indicated stubborn determination. Already 
he was wearing his beard clipped close to his cheeks like his brother-in-law 


Sherman, who with Grant was still floundering around Vicksburg in what 
seemed to be an endless effort to capture that stronghold. 

Quantrill, rousing from his dalliance, sneered at the new appointment. 
"Ewing commands the district," he scoffed, "but I run the machine" — 
braggadocio of a commander who dared not exact discipline from his own 
lieutenants. But Quantrill saw in the lawlessness around him an oppor- 
tunity to regain prestige. His bushwhackers — acting on their own initia- 
tive — raided under Ewing's nose. George Todd even dared take a cap- 
tive Union man along on a foray and then send him to Ewing as a witness. 
In Arkansas elderly General Holmes realized that the border development 
opened a rosy opportunity to demolish both prongs of the pincers threaten- 
ing Little Rock. He must take Helena and drive Blunt out of Fort Gib- 
son, tidy victories which might divert some of the Union troops hammer- 
ing at Vicksburg. Holmes proposed to strike at Helena with an Arkansas 
brigade, Price's Missourians, and Marmaduke's cavalry, which included 
Shelby's Iron Brigade. To take Fort Gibson, Stand Watie was to capture 
a big wagon train rumbling down from Kansas with supplies for Blunt 
and Phillips and thus starve them out. It seemed as easy as that. 

This double maneuver west of the Mississippi began as Robert E. Lee 
crossed into Pennsylvania, sweeping along the roads toward Gettysburg. 
Consequently, the curtain was rising on four military theaters — Gettys- 
burg, Vicksburg, Helena, Fort Gibson — and the first week in July prom- 
ised to be decisive in the war. 

All four engagements went against the Confederacy. Lee marched back 
to Virginia, very lucky to escape. Pemberton surrendered Vicksburg 
to Grant. Holmes failed to capture Helena. He almost lost Collins's flying 
battery, and Shelby received a bad wound. Stand Watie's attack on the 
Fort Gibson supply train was equally fruitless. He ambushed the three 
hundred wagons at a flooded crossing of Cabin Creek on July 1, 1863, 
but failed to capture it after fighting three days against the guard of "pin" 
Indians and Lane's Negro soldiers. With the full length of the Mississippi 
in Federal hands after these battles, the Trans-Mississippi Department was 
completely cut off from Richmond — an island of rebeldom that must be 
self-supporting or perish. General Holmes asked friend Jeff Davis to re- 
lieve him from such a hazardous responsibility and assign the post to his 
assistant, E. Kirby-Smith. 


The new commander of Kirby-Smithdom, as the department was soon 
called, tried to retrieve victory from the recent defeats by a quick counter- 
stroke. He would combine his Arkansas troops with Stand Watie's horse- 
men, surround Fort Gibson, and destroy at least part of one prong of the 
pincers threatening Little Rock. Hard-drinking Cooper — who still held 
a line command — was ordered to join the assault with his Choctaw 
Chickasaw regiments, Texas cavalry and batteries. 

Blunt learned that these troops were concentrating at Honey Springs, 
a village where the Texas road crossed Elk Creek eighteen miles below 
Fort Gibson. With his Negroes, "pin" Indians, and a battalion of Colorado 
boys, he marched all night and at dawn on July 16, 1863, struck Cooper's 
Indians. Stand Watie was absent and without him the Cherokee gave way. 
Chilly Mcintosh's Creeks retreated "to consolidate their position" and 
failed to stop. The Choctaw and Chickasaw regiments became confused 
and marched away seeking reinforcements. The Arkansas conscripts com- 
ing up the mail road dragged their feet in the red dust. They objected to 
fighting outside their state boundaries, and whole companies of them de- 
serted, making it all but impossible for the few loyal men in the column 
to close intervals. The remnant arrived at Honey Springs in time to take 
care of a hundred and forty-seven dead and wounded which had been left 
by Blunt as he marched north- with fifty-seven prisoners, all of the Indians' 
supplies of bacon, flour, dried beef, and three or four hundred handcuffs 
brought to shackle his Negro soldiers and lead them back into slavery. 

Confederate sympathizers along the border were incredulous of this 
series of defeats. But Quantrill saw in them the opportunity of his life- 
time. He called his captains for a conference and outlined plans for the 
greatest raid of the war. Lawrence, Kansas, epitomized everything the 
South despised in the North. Its New England reformers, its widely cir- 
culating newspapers had roweled the nation with abolition propaganda 
for seven years. The hated Jim Lane was out there now on vacation from 
the Senate. Why not destroy him and the vile nest of nigger thieves all at 
once! Such an achievement would immortalize the participants — and re- 
gain for Quantrill his old prestige over the phantom regiment of Con- 
federate guerrillas. 

Quantrill's captains listened sullenly. They rode away without agreeing 
on any plans. Then an accident happened and the situation changed. In 


the campaign to stamp out bushwhacking, many women had been ar 
rested on their homesteads for sheltering guerrillas. The prisoners included 
three sisters of Bloody Bill Anderson's, the Munday girls, Martha and Sue, 
whose brother was with Price in Arkansas, and a female cousin of Cole 
Younger's. Jesse James's mother and sister had also been taken from their 
home by Union soldiers. Most of the disloyal women were incarcerated at 
Kansas City in an old brick building on Grand Avenue between Four- 
teenth and Fifteenth streets. The first floor contained stores. The second 
floor, where the girls were imprisoned, was reached by an outside stairway 
at the rear. The country girls noticed that some of their fellow prisoners 
were women of bad character — Quantrill spies, too — and refused to 
speak to them. When Ewing assumed command, he made it a point to treat 
his charges with consideration. The prostitutes roomed by themselves. All 
were allowed playing cards and musical instruments. The Munday and 
Anderson girls sent home for their own bedding. Those who would pledge 
their word not to escape were permitted to go downstairs, under guard, 
and visit the stores. Major Plumb, the Good Bishop, was put in immediate 
command over them. 

Gossips in the grog shops whispered that a tunnel was being dug to 
free the prisoners. Others said loose hogs had rooted dangerously under 
the foundation. The old brick walls bulged noticeably. Then one day after 
dinner a guard felt the floors quiver. "Get out of here," he shouted, run- 
ning down the wooden steps. "This building is going to fall." 

Some of the girls, but not all, raced down the steps behind him, long 
skirts ballooning above white stockings. Behind them the walls teetered, 
swayed, then collapsed under a cloud of reddish-yellow dust. Major Plumb 
ordered a company to the scene and surrounded the ruins with fixed bayo- 
nets, while rescuers pried under the debris. The bodies of an Anderson 
girl, Cole Younger's cousin, and several others were carried out. Female 
survivors wrung their hands and screamed imprecations against Ewing, 
and Lincoln's tyranny. 

Back in the bushy hills of Johnson County, Quantrill called another 
meeting of his captains. This time they all voted to join in a raid and 
wreak vengeance. Captain Pardee's farm in Jackson County, only a short 
day's ride from Ewing's headquarters, was selected for the rendezvous. On 
August 1 8, 1863, each captain jogged in with his followers to camp in the 


woods and meadows along the Blackwater. Sturdy Todd, his oval, smooth- 
shaven face hard and stubborn as granite, brought a troop of immigrant 
Irishmen as illiterate as himself. With Bloody Bill came Frank James 
and the Youngers. William Gregg, commanding the cream of the Border 
Ruffians, served also as adjutant and aide to Quantrill. He reported a 
hundred and ninety-four men "present and accounted for." An equal num- 
ber was to be picked up as the column advanced. 

On the morning of August 19, 1863, scouts disguised as farmers ambled 
along the roads watching for Federal troops. They reported the way clear, 
and Quantrill, in hunting shirt — the bushwhacker uniform — embroid- 
ered by the fair hand of unclean Kate, mounted his fine sorrel horse, called 
his men from their leafy bowers, formed them on the dirt road, and rode 
leisurely forward. Quantrill's longhorn mustache paralleled the brim of 
a low-crowned black hat garnished with gold band and tassels. Four pis- 
tol butts raised their ugly heads above his belt. His short-cropped hair 
emphasized the smallness of his head on a giraffe neck — a pervert among 
unkempt and bearded followers. 

After riding ten miles along the hot summer road, the column halted 
to feed horses and eat a snack. Quantrill addressed the wild assembly, his 
big loose mouth telling the men for the first time their destination, the rich 
booty in prospect, and the opportunity for revenge: "Kill every male and 
burn every house in Lawrence!" 

The guerrillas resaddled in the cool of the evening and rode southwest, 
apparently toward Fort Scott and Indian Territory instead of toward 
Lawrence. This might deceive spying Federals. During the night the 
column was joined by Colonel D. Holt with over a hundred additional 
riders. Next morning, August 20, 1863, at seven o'clock, as a sultry sun 
began to heat the air, the bushwackers watered their horses on upper 
Grand River four miles from the Kansas border. Here another contingent 
of bepistoled horsemen rode in, making four or five hundred men in all. 
Time had come now to slip through Ewing's patrol into Kansas — then 
dash fifty miles to Lawrence. 

All morning long, scouts examined the roads ahead while the guerrillas 
rested in dense woods. At three o'clock in the afternoon the way was pro- 
nounced clear. The bushwackers mounted and, in solid formation, crossed 
the state line near Aubry where a hundred Federal soldiers were garri- 


soned. United States Captain J. A. Pike saw the invaders and mustered 
his men but, being outnumbered, dared not attack. Instead, he sent a 
courier up to Little Santa Fe spreading the alarm. In two or three hours 
Ewing should receive the message in Kansas City, and Quantrill could not 
reach Lawrence — if that were his destination — in less than ten or twelve. 

Every man in Quantrill's force was a seasoned rider, skilled in getting 
the most out of his mount. The race ahead would test Quantrill's leader- 
ship of light horse. At first he ordered a swinging trot. Twelve miles across 
the border, when darkness had fallen, Quantrill called a halt to graze the 
horses. Grass-fed animals must eat often. After an hour, the men were 
ordered to tighten saddle girths and mount. Riding through the sleeping 
village of Spring Hill, the column turned northwest, heading now for the 
first time straight toward Lawrence. At eleven o'clock they clattered into 
Gardner and, shortly beyond, left the road for a northerly route across the 
prairie. Lawrence slept less than twenty-five miles away. 

Quantrill counted the miles against the midnight hours and watched 
the stars. The crisis of his lifetime had come. Many of his men strapped 
themselves in their saddles, hobbling their stirrups, in order to sleep on 
the march and be ready for tomorrow's butchery. These outdoorsmen 
knew their way across open country, but new fences and brushy creek 
crossing might delay the march. Quantrill took no chance. At homesteads 
he impressed sleepy farmers to guide the column. When the country ahead 
became strange to a guide, a bullet ended his usefulness. Ten were thus 
shot in eight miles. 

The column forded the Wakarusa by Blue-Jacket Crossing and drew 
rein on a prairie swell half a mile from Lawrence. West of them at the 
foot of Mount Oread lay the village asleep in the dawn twilight. Or was 
it? Perhaps the townsmen had been alarmed and were waiting to ambush 
the guerrillas! 

Quantrill ordered two scouts to ride ahead. They were to signal if the 
inhabitants were on guard. While they were gone, Quantrill ordered roll 
call. His veterans eyed the village critically. It was larger than they ex- 
pected. Some men protested. To rush a town the size of Lawrence seemed 
folly. Besides, Federal soldiers must be coming from many directions. 
Best to gallop away now while they could. Quantrill's broad, voluptuous 
lips sneered. He would take the town if he rode in alone! Remember: 


"Kill every man and burn every house." Quantrill touched his good-luck 
horse with the spur and moved forward under his black silk flag. The 
column followed at a fast trot to the edge of town, then roared in with a 

Mayor George Collamore had been warned that Quantrill might come 
some time. He had collected guns for defense, but the citizens scoffed at 
his precaution. To them the war seemed far away. They had fought it 
out with the Missourians seven years ago and now felt safe inside Federal 

In one of the outlying homes, the Reverend Hugh Fisher, chaplain for 
Lane's expedition to Springfield, had risen early this morning of August 
21, 1863. He felt ill and stood at the window looking up the street. His 
neighbor, the Reverend S. S. Snyder, pastor of the United Brethren 
Church, came out of his house with a milk pail and sat beside his cow. 
Fisher watched him absent-mindedly until aroused by the rabble of racing 
horsemen — a motley, bearded crew in broad hats and dirty shirts. He 
saw puffs of white smoke from their pistols. The Reverend Mr. Snyder 
slumped from his stool, bucket upset, cow limping away. Next moment 
the yipping riders were gone. It was like a dream — hard to believe any- 
one had been in the road. But before Mr. Fisher had time to arouse his 
wife and draw on his trousers, squads of riders were patrolling every 
street, shooting at anyone who appeared. The whole town lay helpless in 
the bushwhackers' hands. 

Quantrill had proved his competence. He led the way first toward the 
rebuilt Eldridge House, detaching patrols on all side streets. His vedettes 
galloped to Mount Oread to watch for approaching soldiers. Guests in the 
hotel heard pistols popping like firecrackers below their windows and 
peered down at the surging riders, at Quantrill — his hunting shirt, open 
now at the breast, disclosing his white body. Someone, with a dinner gong, 
marched up and down the halls admonishing the guests to be calm. The 
manager waved a sheet from a window. 

Quantrill agreed to spare the guests if they would dress quickly and 
come out. One of them was a spy who might be useful in identifying vic- 
tims. He had recently associated with Lane — the man wanted above all 
others by the guerrillas. Quantrill ordered the guests searched for weapons, 
then sent them under guard to the City Hotel, or Whitney House, where 


he established his own headquarters and demanded luncheon. Quantrill 
said that he had boarded at this hostelry when he lived in Lawrence and 
would protect it from destruction. 

The street patrols robbed all houses systematically. At the gate to each 
residence two or three men waited on their horses. Others dismounted, 
strode up the walk, spurs jingling, and knocked. If the door was opened 
by a man, he was shot down, if by a woman, she was ordered to deliver 
all money, watches, and jewelry in the house. Then the dwelling was set 
on fire. Any man who appeared from the smoke was killed. Some women 
grappled with their husbands' murderers. Most of them stood with their 
children, helpless and horror-struck. An occasional heroine ran recklessly 
to her spouse only to feel him killed in her arms. Through it all, no 
woman was harmed — for the bushwhackers adhered to a code. As the 
houses burned, women were allowed to salvage rugs, curtains, prized 
furniture, and keepsakes. Occasionally a man escaped from his house by 
hiding under a carpet as it was carried out. Others saved themselves by 
crouching under their wives' hoop skirts. Still others died rather than 
"hide behind petticoats." 

The Reverend Hugh Fisher's wife saved her husband by crafty pro- 
crastination. He had run to the cellar and when the raiders demanded 
candles to light them on a search for him, Mrs. Fisher replied that she 
had only kerosene lamps — mechanical inventions more elaborate than 
Missouri bushwhackers had yet seen. Ordered, at pistol point, to light one, 
she artfully turned the wick down into the coal oil. The delay, while the 
curious countrymen gaped at the novel machinery, permitted her husband 
to crawl under the house and hide between a dirt bank and the founda- 
tions. The thwarted raiders set the house on fire and galloped away for 
more loot than could be found in a minister's home. Mrs. Fisher called 
from the cellar stairs. When her husband came up, she covered him with 
draperies and smuggled him from the blazing building. 

A more harrowing experience awaited G. W. E. Griffith, owner of a 
store on Massachusetts Street. He heard the shooting while still in bed. 
Looking from a window, he saw a Negro with a baby in his arms run 
across the street. A moment later the man pitched forward, shot dead. 
Griffith knew at once what must be happening. In a few moments he 
heard a knock, unlatched the door, and — instead of being killed — was 


told to deliver all money and valuables in the house, then come down to 
his store and open the safe. Griffith hurried his wife to a neighbor's and 
as he was led away heard a woman scream. Turning, he saw through the 
neighbor's open door the man of the house tumbling lifeless down the 
stairs. The murdered victim's wife tried to run to him but was held back. 
The house burned down with the stricken man crumpled in the hallway. 

On Massachusetts Street, Mr. Griffith looked at all the business build- 
ings, doors shattered, looted goods scattered under the hitch racks in the 
street, smoke curling from broken windows. Other merchants, like him- 
self, had been aroused from bed to open their safes before being killed. 
Boys, as well as men, lay sprawled along the street — among them two 
sons of John Speer, the newspaper editor. Griffith recognized a few citi- 
zens who had saved themselves by mingling with the mob and pretending 
to be bushwhackers. As his captors looted his store, he too dodged into the 
crowd. Joining the Eldridge House guests, he walked safely to the Whit- 
ney House under guard. Here all felt safe, but after Quantrill dined, he 
rode away, leaving the house unguarded. Two men on routine burning 
duty spied the unharmed building and dismounted. Why was this house 
spared? Orders were orders: "Kill every man and burn every house." 

The proprietor, Quantrill's friend, stepped out the door to identify him- 
self and explain the commander's order. The raiders were in a hurry and 
nervous. A pistol slug downed the hotel man. Terrified guests watching 
from the hall, turned and ran out the back door, jumped from windows. 
Better take a chance and be shot running than wait and be murdered! 
Besides, two men with pistols could not kill a dozen before some reached 
safety. In backyards and along alley fences, sunflowers stood tall as a 
horse's back. Griffith plunged into the weeds and scurried out of harm's 
way along the Kansas River. 

By nine o'clock in the morning, Quantrill decided to leave Lawrence. 
The prairie air was already heating under the August sun, and sentries 
on Mount Oread reported a cloud of dust — soldiers no doubt — visible 
in the east. He assigned William Gregg the job of forming a rear guard, 
of gathering drunken and unruly raiders. Others assembled for the re- 
treat, with stolen horses. Toy flags from the book store had been plaited 
in some animals' tails. Piano covers and damask curtains served as new 
saddle blankets. A hundred loose animals were to be led back or driven, 


Most men had acquired at least one horse and a watch or two. Almost 
everyone had a pack horse loaded with bolts of cloth, shoes, or other dry 
goods. Morose George Todd, the stonemason now high in command, 
strutted in a new and splendid uniform looted God knows where! A 
few surviving prisoners at the livery stable were ordered out. Quantrill 
watched them from under his level-brimmed black hat. ''Select one to 
drive an ambulance with two of my wounded men," he said to the guard. 
"Shoot the rest!" 

Quantrill turned his sorrel horse and ambled away, listening to the fusil- 
lade in obedience to his orders. His men waited in a long line, bundles 
on their saddles, pack horses bulging with goods. "By God, Atchison 
never whipped Lawrence like this," it would have been like him to have 
said, "nor did Robert E. Lee march out of Pennsylvania with such a vic- 

"Four's right: march." 

One man may have been left behind, too drunk to ride. A stranger in 
that condition was found by the citizens as they assembled from hiding 
places along the riverbank, from patches of tall sunflowers, from the grave- 
yard. Men crept out from under the board sidewalks, too shocked to grin 
at one another's escapes. Mayor Collamore was found dead in his well. 
He had let himself down, with a rope, to hide and had smothered. A man 
who went down to rescue him also suffocated. On the streets, in gutters, 
on porches, in yards, a hundred and eighty-three men and boys were found 
dead or dying. A million to a million and a half dollars' worth of property 
had been destroyed. The new house built by Senator Lane lay in ashes. 
The Grim Chieftain himself had escaped by crouching behind a log as 
the raiders passed. Knowing that Quantrill wanted him particularly, Lane, 
in his hiding place, decided to kill himself rather than be tortured to 
death by the guerrillas. His only weapon was a small penknife, but he 
planned to thrust this little blade above his eyeball into his brain where 
the skull was thin. His brother John, an officer in the Seminole war, had 
killed himself in this manner with his saber. 

Charles Robinson and George Deitzler had also escaped and hidden in 
a gulch on the side of Mount Oread. Ex-Governor Shannon, a resident 
of Lawrence now, was not in town and his house was spared. 


Lane was the first man in town to rally a pursuit party. Calling on every 
able-bodied citizen to follow, he bounded, spiderlike, into a buggy and 
whipped up the road after QuantrilFs men — Lane in a buggy chasing 
the deadliest killers on the border! A few farmers joined his party, mak- 
ing in all some thirty-five men on mules, draft horses, and in wagons, 
with long rifles, shotguns, and pistols. Those who stayed behind hanged 
the drunken stranger and dragged his stripped body by a rope along Mas- 
sachusetts Street. 

At noon Lane overtook the guerrillas. They were going back to Missouri 
by a route south of the road on which they had come. Near Baldwin City, 
the raiders fanned out for a mile along the creek in order to let all the 
horses drink at the same time and not delay the escape. Senator Lane 
knew this country, had been baptized — twice at least — in this creek. 
He also knew it to be unwise to charge with his little force. Moreover, a 
courier on the road reported the entire country aroused, soldiers converg- 
ing from north and east, Major Preston Plumb coming with two hun- 
dred and fifty cavalrymen. 

The neighborhood here was partly settled. Plumb's column stumbled 
into Lane's line, horses exhausted and almost useless from a forced march. 
His tired men and Lane's disorganized farmers advanced and fired a few 
shots at the fleeing raiders, but Quantrill ordered Gregg to hold them back 
with his rear guard while the bushwhackers' main column moved ahead 
at a spanking pace. Late in the afternoon Quantrill noted something 
familiar about the tree-rimmed horizon ahead. Surely his column was rid- 
ing straight toward Paola, where he knew a strong Union force was gar- 
risoned. Quantrill spurred along the rocking line of riders to the guide — 
a trusted follower — and called a halt. 

"Where are you taking us? " Quantrill probably asked. 

"Through Morristown, yender." 

"That's not Morristown. It's Paola. You can't fool me. I'd know its 
hide in a tanyard." 

As they argued, distant shots announced the approach of soldiers — the 
Paola garrison. Quantrill wheeled his men out of column and, counter- 
charging, drove the soldiers back to town where they laid an ambush 
should he come in after dark. But Quantrill's one idea was to escape, and 


the friendly Missouri woodlands were only twenty miles away. He re- 
formed his column and, swinging south of town, his horsemen leaned 
forward in their saddles for the last lap of the race to safety. 

Major Plumb, in the meantime, stumbled along in Quantrill's rear un- 
til stopped by darkness. Then he turned toward the glimmering lights 
of Paola to rest his men and feed his horses. Straight into the ambush he 
led his squadron of cavalry. The Paola guards raised their guns, sighted 
along the barrels in the darkness. The commander waited until all the 
line was in range. Major Plumb, near the head of the column, turned 
stiffly in his saddle with that characteristic toss of his head, shouted en- 
couragement to his exhausted men. The Good Bishop's voice was well 
known on Kansas hustings. The Union commander recognized it. 

"By God, a minnit mor'n we'd a-fired," soldiers must have murmured 
as they lowered their pieces. 

Safely in town, the exhausted and still tubercular Plumb was helped 
from his horse to bed. During the night, scouts rode in to report that 
Quantrill had camped for an hour to graze his horses on the rich bottom 
lands along Bull Creek. Plumb, tired as he was, dreamed always of his 
political future and determined to be on the spot at dawn to follow Quan- 
trill's trail when light enough to see. Bugles called his soldiers from their 
blankets, and the column padded off in the dark, leather squeaking, sparks 
flying as horseshoes clinked on loose rocks. With the first paling light, 
Plumb saw the trail and trotted forward. At intervals he walked the horses 
to keep them fit. He knew that the enemy must be only ten or fifteen 
miles ahead. Telltale "scourings" from the retreating horses revealed 
them to be weakening faster than his own. Soon Plumb's horses began to 
shy at discarded booty along the road — bolts of silk and calico, a stack 
of new hats nested one in the other. 

Finally Plumb sighted the enemy column worming over the undulating 
prairie ahead. The Missouri state line lay somewhere out there only five 
miles away. 

"Come on, men!" 

But Plumb was too late. Quantrill reached the Missouri woodlands be- 
fore his pursuers, and grinning triumphantly under his long mustache 
ordered: "Each man for himself." His raiders knew all the cowpaths 
through the thick brush in this country and every cabin where sympathetic 


women would feed them grits and cracklings. By a hundred trails his little 
army vanished. 

Senator Jim Lane raved up and down the border, tearing off his shirt 
with the eloquence he had used in territorial days, shouting for volunteers 
to march into Missouri, kill, confiscate, and collect. Eager men flocked to 
his noisy standard until General Schofield dared order him to quit — a 
risky liberty to take with a United States senator. Outwardly, the Grim 
Chieftain obeyed the order with meekness. He told his recruits that their 
righteous expedition had been prevented by "Skowfield." The sneering 
mispronunciation indicated that the senator might fight the general in the 
Senate and even appeal to President Lincoln, if necessary. Perhaps Lane's 
ruthless methods conformed more with the people's wishes than did Scho- 
field's moderation. As the war dragged on endlessly, many people cried 
out for cruel and crushing blows. A mob in Chicago shouted: "Give us 
Jennison the Jayhawker : Give us our man of blood." 

In Leavenworth, the radical Dan Anthony blamed the sack of Lawrence 
on Ewing and sent dispatches across the nation censuring him for negli- 
gence. Ewing replied with an extreme measure: Order Number Eleven 
expelled all people, loyal or disloyal, from Jackson, Cass, Bates, and Ver- 
non counties, Missouri, excepting only certain areas near the large towns. 
Thus the bushwhackers' haven, to which Quantrill's men had fled, was 
to be depopulated — not a cabin left to hand out corn pone, a chunk of hog 
meat, and information about the "Feds." 

Dispossessed homesteaders packed their wagons, drove into Kansas City 
and Independence to live miserably on government bounty as the Creeks 
and Seminole had been doing since the winter of 1861. Across America 
the copperhead press, striving for peace between North and South, con- 
jured up harrowing stories of loyal Unionists torn from their hearths and 
homesteads by rude soldiers. Ewing had hoped to follow a neutral course 
between the Missouri moderates and the Kansas radicals, but he had to 
admit that Order Number Eleven put him in the camp of radical Jim 
Lane — a personality he had hoped to avoid. Only General Schofield still 
believed moderation to be the best policy, and the Grim Chieftain reached 
now for "Skowfield's" scalp. Like Curtis, before him, the department 
commander depended on Lincoln. 

Baxter Springs 

.Lincoln was troubled about the demands for Schofield's removal. The 
war had turned definitely for the better since Gettysburg and Vicksburg, 
but was far from won. In Virginia, the Confederates were as unconquered 
as ever. In Chattanooga, Rosecrans seemed helpless before the Confederate, 
Braxton Bragg, and news from the Western border reported four thousand 
Texans marching north to join the Indians whom Steele was mustering 
since the Honey Springs defeat. Once reorganized, the small Federal gar- 
risons holding the territory would be no match for them. Scrappy little 
Blunt, convalescing from smallpox, marched out of Fort Gibson to investi- 
gate the rumors and break up all concentrations, as he had done so success- 
fully in July. Here was a soldier after Lincoln's own heart. Unlike Meade 
in Virginia, who wanted to take Richmond instead of defeating Lee, this 
Westerner realized that the enemy armies, not the enemy towns, were the 
important objectives. On August 24, 1863, Blunt knocked Mcintosh's bat- 
talion of Creeks to pieces, then marched through the Choctaw country 
hunting for defenders and destroying Confederate supplies. He detached 
Captain Samuel Crawford to scour the country, hunting all organized 
bands of civilized Indians, while he marched into Fort Smith without fir- 
ing a shot. War Department maps in Washington could now show west- 
ern Arkansas and all of Indian Territory under the Stars and Stripes. 
Moreover, the pincers on Little Rock had been established once more. 

Blunt's triumph in Indian Territory inspired Jo Shelby to retaliate with 
a fifteen-hundred-mile raid into Missouri with six hundred raiders. Start- 
ing September 22, 1863, his poetic eyes scanned the heavens and he wrote: 

The weather was propitious and the glorious skies of a Southern autumn 
flashed cheerily down upon the waving banners and glittering steel as 
we marched by the white-haired chieftain, General Price, and his healthy 
benediction was solemnly prophetic of my entire success. 


Riding triumphantly toward the center of the state, Shelby was joined 
by bushwhacking bands until his column numbered fifteen hundred. He 
might well capture Jefferson City and expiate the loss of Little Rock, 
which had recently fallen into the hands of the now notorious General 
Fred Steele in this boundaryless war. Could not Schofield stop these 
annual raids across Missouri? Lincoln read the report along with an ac- 
count of the Union defeat at Chickamauga which trapped Rosecrans in 
Chattanooga. At the depth of the President's despondency over these mili- 
tary reverses Senator Lane requested an audience. He had come with a 
delegation from Missouri and Kansas. Lincoln walked down the White 
House stairway to meet them in the East Room. Lane had lined up his 
delegation along three sides of the chamber. After introducing them to the 
President, he asked the chairman of the delegation to read their request 
for "Skowfield's" removal. Lane never forgot an old enemy. 

Lincoln, the politician, listened to this canvass thoughtfully. He believed 
in the people's right to rule. But this high-pressure demand from a se- 
lected group presented a challenge to the administration. Lane explained 
that the delegation before him represented the will of the Republican 
Party in Kansas and Missouri — one thing on which the two rival states 
agreed at last. Peace between them might be restored by dismissing Scho- 

Lincoln's personal secretary, John Hay, watched his chief under the 
pressure of this temptation. Lane had built a strong case, and these men 
had great political influence, but their motive was obviously personal 
power rather than the nation's good. Lincoln asked for specific errors 
committed by Schofield and heard none of importance. Yet the delegates 
were united in wanting the general ousted. A smear campaign in news- 
papers controlled by these men might damage the administration. A weak 
executive would have submitted, but John Hay noticed that Lincoln stood 
firm. He would abet no injustice to a competent officer. Schofield had his 
faults, to be sure, but he was resourceful, knew his department, had done 
a good job, and Lincoln had no intention of ordering him to walk the 
plank because a deputation said that his elimination would make better 
relations between Kansas and Missouri. Lincoln suggested that the com- 
mittee give him time to consider their complaints. 

Lane was too shrewd to be forestalled in this manner. His delegates 


demanded an answer at once. Lincoln evaded this trap, too. He said that 
he would answer them at once, not orally but in writing — an artful way 
to scotch the possibility of a smear campaign, for the first letter the press 
could publish now would be Lincoln's case, and the committee would be 
caught defending themselves. 

Senator Lane led the way out of the White House. His scheme had 
been defeated, but with his usual resiliency he stopped for speeches on his 
way back to Kansas — not against Lincoln and Schofield, as might have 
been expected, but against the horrors of slavery and for abolition and the 
continuance of the war. Always aiming his remarks at the level of his 
audience's intelligence, he sniffed at the popular Copperhead slogan: 
"Would you have your daughter marry a Negro?" Amalgamation, Lane 
said, had been more common under slavery than it ever would be in free- 
dom. Then, bending over the audience in his confident and ingratiating 
manner, he continued: 

When I was a child, I was not of much consequence. My mother was 
not very well and she put me out to nurse with a nigger wench in Ken- 
tucky. [Lane was always born in Kentucky when talking to slave-state 
people.] This nigger wench had another baby, not near as white as I 
was; we slept in the same cradle — we wrestled together — we went 
swimming together — it was a boy, I remember. Nothing of the kind 
transpires among Northern people. . . . 

Amalgamation? I tell you that . . . slavery ... is but a system of 

And I say another thing, that a young person of pretention is not 
considered fit to move in good society till he has fallen in love with a 
nigger wench. I say, abolish slavery and it would take a thousand years 
of freedom to so systematize the crime of amalgamation as it is in 
slavery. Why, sirs, in your own State, while Lane's brigade was lying 
in Springfield, as beautiful and as white slaves came into my camp as 
refugees from slavery as I ever looked upon — hair as straight. The 
bleaching process has been going on in the slave states ever since slavery 
was there. 

Lincoln never could be very angry with such an irrepressible fellow. 
He told his secretary, John Hay, that radicals made lots of trouble, but 
he liked them. "They are utterly lawless — the unhandiest devils in the 
world to deal with — but after all their faces are set Zionwards," 


Lincoln had been perplexed by another Kansas radical. General James 
Blunt clashed continually with the conservative Schofield, but he did win 
battles. To ease frictions, Lincoln had transferred Blunt from the Depart- 
ment of Kansas to command the Army of the Frontier in Indian Terri- 
tory. The little black-headed scrapper had cleaned out rebel Indians and 
bushwhackers wherever he went. Now in October 1863, Blunt decided to 
establish headquarters in Fort Smith, which he had captured twice, over 
Schofleld's remonstrances. He marched south triumphantly, with rein- 
forcements and a military band suitable to his new position — and as he 
marched south, Shelby marched north only a hundred miles farther east, 
in Schofleld's department. Let "Skowfield" stop him if he could, Blunt 
would fight his own battles ! 

With Blunt rode General Curtis's son, Major H. S. Curtis, serving his 
country as his sister had at Rolla until she died in the nursing service 
the year before. Also in the jubilant column, the twenty-two year old wife 
of Captain Chester Thomas, brigade quartermaster, sat in an ambulance 
anticipating a reunion with her husband at Fort Smith. Nobody expected 
an attack, at least not until Stand Watie's Cherokee country was reached. 

On October 6, 1863, Blunt's column approached Baxter Springs, located 
in a great prairie where army livestock was sent regularly to recuperate 
on the lush grasses. To protect the animals, a post had been established. 
The buildings stood in a hollow near the water and out of sight of the 
vast plain. A hundred men were garrisoned here, two thirds of them 
colored. They were eating dinner when a gang of broad-hatted riders 
swept down with wild yells and began shooting from hiding places be- 
tween the mess tent and the soldiers' sleeping quarters. Dave Pool was in 
command. The gang were an advance detachment of Quantrill's bush- 
whackers, riding south to winter again on the good grass in Indian Ter- 

Quantrill himself was riding a short distance behind the van, with his 
"regiment" divided in three troops. He had rendezvoused at his Johnson 
County headquarters on the Pardee farm southeast of Independence — 
just outside the boundaries vacated by Order Number Eleven — and had 
ridden south for a hundred and thirty miles without being stopped or de- 
tected. The blue Federal uniforms worn by his raiders may have deceived 
many people along the way, but surely Schofield was unduly lax in letting 


him pass. If he was keeping no better control over central Missouri, Shelby 
had a good chance to capture the capital. 

When Quantrill rode in toward Baxter Springs from the northeast be- 
hind Dave Pool's company, he saw Blunt coming down the road from 
Fort Scott with about a hundred men, an elaborate band wagon, com- 
missary, and ambulance train. Quantrill saw at once that he outnumbered 
the Federals. He formed company front a short way back from the road 
and waited. General Blunt watched the blue-clad soldiers forming. He 
had not heard the shooting below the plain at the springs, so he believed 
these horsemen had come from the garrison to welcome him formally. 
Flattered by the recognition, Blunt turned off the road and marched in 
file parallel to it. He planned a left face for a grand salute' with both his 
companies extended in rank, but when his file came within point-blank 
range, the guerrillas opened fire. The surprised Federals fled in panic, 
Blunt and Curtis shouting desperately for them to stop and fight. In no 
time the two officers stood alone among the wagons with twenty-five or 
thirty dead under foot. They could do nothing now but flee for their lives. 
They led a spare horse to the ambulance for Mrs. Thomas, lifted her 
hurriedly aboard, legs shockingly astraddle, and too short for the stirrups. 
Her feet were thrust into the straps and she was told to hold to the saddle 
pommel for dear life — all useless gallantry, for no woman had been 
harmed by Quantrill's men, even in Lawrence. 

Away the three fugitives raced over the prairie. Ahead of them a ten- 
foot gully gapped across the plain. The three horses gathered themselves 
for the leap. Two soared over. Curtis's mount flinched at the brink. A 
bullet had struck its hip. Horse and rider slapped into the far bank. A 
second bullet pierced Major Curtis's skull, killing him instantly. The 
jump had thrown Blunt from his saddle to his horse's neck where he 
clung like a monkey on a stick until out of range. Only Mrs. Thomas, 
the novice, sailed gracefully across to safety. 

The wagon carrying the band of fourteen unarmed musicians and a 
drummer boy whipped for the post. A front wheel hit a hole and came 
off, spilling all the occupants among their brass. Guerrillas surrounded 
the wreck, killed the musicians, and set the wagon on fire. Other bush- 
whackers hunted down retreating soldiers on the plains, shooting sixty 
or seventy of the hundred in Blunt's command. Then Quantrill called 


back Dave Pool from the fort. Why fight all day down there and maybe 
lose some men? The victory was good enough already. Looting the 
wagons, each one took what food and liquor he could carry. Quantrill, 
himself drank until he became noisy — a rare excess for him. "By G-d," 
he boasted, "Shelby could not whip Blunt; neither could Marmaduke, 
but I whipped him." 

Reeling happily in their saddles, the guerrillas circled around the fort 
and galloped south along the road to Fort Gibson, killing a few Negro 
and Indian soldiers who happened to be on detached duty along the way. 
Eighteen miles above the fort the bushwhackers crossed the Arkansas, 
swerved out over the plains around the garrison and on October 12, 1863, 
joined Cooper's Indians in the Indian Territory — safe again for another 
winter's rest where horse's feed was good. 

Blunt had never suffered such a defeat. He limped, chagrined, into Fort 
Smith and was soon removed from command of the Army of the Frontier. 
But Lincoln did not dismiss him from the service. Instead, Blunt and 
that other fighting firebrand, Jennison, were assigned the duty of recruit- 
ing Negro regiments on the border. Both men had proved so popular 
that their names would draw crowds of admirers wherever they went. 

In mid-October Lincoln decided to cut the knot in some of his Western 
problems of command by appointing Grant over all the departments. As 
President, however, he did not relieve himself of responsibility. The radi- 
cals continued to complain about Schofield. They pointed out that his 
dependence on Governor Gamble's "Copperhead Claybank militia" had 
proved to be a terrible mistake. Guns issued to them were going straight 
to the bushwhackers. Lincoln inquired about this. Schofield replied that, 
in order to send every available man to Grant, he had enlisted ex-rebels, 
but he defended the policy, maintaining that all officers were of unques- 
tioned loyalty. 

Lincoln accepted the explanation but at the same time read reports of 
Shelby's march to central Missouri. At Boonville the mayor offered the 
raiders peaceful admission, and Shelby began enlisting soldiers from north 
of the river. Then he returned to Arkansas without serious interruption 
from Schofield's troops. This was as bad as Fremont at his worst. Exul- 
tantly Shelby reported that he had destroyed a million dollars' worth of 
Federal supplies, and railroad property worth eight hundred thousand 


dollars, and that he had brought back six thousand horses and mules and 
eight hundred recruits from northern Missouri. He claimed, in addition, 
that he had diverted ten thousand Federal troops who might otherwise 
have reinforced Rosecrans after his defeat at Chickamauga. 

Lincoln was busy at this time urging General Meade to attack Lee in 
Virginia and destroy his army, instead of shadowboxing for Richmond. 
Meade made excuses. With them came Schofield's report of Shelby's 
raid — so different from the newspaper accounts. Schofield wrote that the 
raider had been expelled after losing half his men and gaining no recruits 
except the robbers under Quantrill. The dispatch ended: "This is gratify- 
ing as showing that the rebel power in Missouri is completely ended." 

Lincoln had received too many communications like this from frus- 
trated generals to be much deceived. How was Grant, the new top com- 
mander in the West, going to handle this ? , 

Lincoln turned to the myriad papers on his desk — especially the fore- 
casts of local elections which would indicate the strength of his adminis- 
tration. Grant ignored the Missouri problem and concentrated on the re- 
lief of Chattanooga. Let the border suffer. Stand Watie, noticing the ease 
with which raids could be made behind Federal lines, bypassed Colonel 
Phillips at Fort Gibson, destroyed the Cherokee capitol at Tahlequah, and 
burned beautiful Rose Cottage. 

Kirby-Smith, ruler of an isolated domain, reorganized his army, mili- 
tarized his industry, began running the Texas blockade to sell cotton 
abroad. On December n, 1863, he replaced General Steele, commander of 
Indian Territory, with Samuel B. Maxey, able, fire-eating orator from the 
Lone Star State, now a major general in the Confederate Army. 

Under the new command Stand Watie started to invade Kansas, but on 
December 18, 1863, he was overtaken and turned back by Phillips's brigade 
of Indians and Negroes. The Confederate Cherokee swerved away from 
this defeat, rode straight for the Department of Missouri to take advan- 
tage of Schofield's shortage of man power, and raided into southwest 

The continued inability of Schofield to police his department against 
the bushwhackers, against Shelby, against the Cherokee gave credence to 
the radicals' complaints. Here was just cause for removal, not just the 
fabrication of politicians seeking power. Lincoln replaced him on January 


22, 1864, with William S. Rosecrans, a skillful commander, yet one who 
had failed in Tennessee. To decide the next Confederate offensive, the 
rebel Indians met in council at Amstrong Academy on February 1, 1864. 
General Maxey attended the meeting. The two most important plans 
discussed were the practicality of another raid into Kansas and of an al- 
liance with the plains Indians to fight Western settlers — Pike's perennial 


Lincoln's Re-election Campaign 
on the Border 

Cjeneral maxey's plan to repossess the Indian Territory and strike north 
and west was changed in the early spring of 1864 by the grand strategy 
of the top Union command. This was election year. The victories of 1863 
had been stalemated, and something must be done, or Lincoln would not 
be nominated for another term. Two plans to split the South and hasten 
a Northern victory were considered. Lincoln favored cutting Louisiana 
in half, then marching across Texas to the gulf. Grant and Sherman pre- 
ferred to capture Atlanta and then jayhawk across Georgia to the sea. 
In case Lincoln approved this plan, Sherman promised to give the com- 
mand of a division to his brother-in-law, Tom Ewing, who was now in 
charge of the District of St. Louis, which included southeast Missouri. 
Both E wing's wife Ellen and his adjutant, Harrison Hannahs, believed 
that Ewing made the mistake of his life when he declined this offer and 
remained west of the Mississippi. Whether a mistake or not, the decision 
may have caused his physical shake-up, for he soon suffered from neu- 
ralgia and a boil on his neck. He became irritable with his wife, com- 
plained about her spending — too little, not too much — and admonished 
her for talking about the possibility of dying when her expected baby was 

The plan to split Louisiana was tried first, under command of Nathaniel 
Banks, the political general who — as speaker of the House — had ap- 
pointed the committee to investigate the Kansas troubles in 1856. He 
floated seventeen thousand men up Red River while it was still navigable 
with the spring freshets. Generals A. J. Smith and Joseph A. Mower were 
to join him with ten thousand soldiers, and Fred Steele, the high-voiced 


dandy, was to come down from Little Rock with an additional fifteen 
thousand. Thus, with forty-two thousand men, Banks could easily clean 
up Kirby-Smith's twenty to twenty-five thousand soldiers, no matter how 
reckless and dashing his horsemen under Marmaduke and Shelby proved 
to be. 

Threatened by this invasion, Kirby-Smith ordered General Maxey to 
bring all the guerrillas and Indians he could muster in the territory. Thus 
the new general relinquished his designs on Kansas and started his men — 
red and white — to Louisana. Now, the Creek and Cherokee country was 
safe again for Northern Indians. The United States Indian Superintend- 
ent, W. G. Coffin, estimated that he had nine thousand of these dispos- 
sessed red men on relief in Kansas and hoped to return them to their 
homes. He assembled five thousand refugees. The Seminole were left be- 
hind on account of smallpox which had laid many of them low. Chief 
Billy Bowlegs had succumbed to the disease. Coffin was in a hurry to get 
his charges back to their own lands in time to put in a crop. In case the 
long trip was "made too late for the growing season, the problem of feeding 
so many Indians during the winter in distant Indian Territory would be 
staggering. Annoying details kept him from starting as soon as planned. 
He had trouble hiring sufficient wagons and teams necessary to haul the 
emigrants' gear. Then on May 7, 1864, he received a message from Wash- 
ington to postpone the expedition indefinitely. The Red River expedition 
had failed. Receding flood waters stranded the army in central Louisiana, 
and the supporting columns had not come as planned. Now the Union 
armies were returning to their bases. General Steele had started back to 
Little Rock, fighting engagements on the way and losing his wagon train 
with a guard of twelve hundred men — mostly enlisted Negroes — when 
surprised by Marmaduke's horsemen at Poison Springs. The black men 
who surrendered had been killed mercilessly. With the danger ended in 
Louisiana and Arkansas, the rebel Indians and guerrillas were spurring 
home to the territory, and the refugees, if they attempted the hegira, 
would be preyed upon by their enemies. Indian Commissioner W. P. 
Dole, in Washington, feared especially that Quantrill might sweep across 
the plains and massacre the Union Indians as Marmaduke's men had 
massacred the Negroes at Poison Springs. Such inhumanities would be 
blamed on Lincoln, and this was election year! 


Superintendent Coffin reassured the commissioner that he had ample 
military protection. His supplies had been purchased and his wagons 
hired. To delay longer would be inexcusable extravagance, so the com- 
missioner allowed him to proceed. The expedition left the Sauk and Fox 
Indian Reservation in Kansas on May 16, 1864. Three thousand men, 
women, and children walked ahead and behind the wagons in a proces- 
sion six miles long. Two thousand old people, mothers, and babies rode in 
the wagons with bedding, coops of chickens and ducks, and at least five 
hundred puppies. Around the wagons and running along with the foot- 
men trotted some three thousand grown dogs. Superintendent Coffin 
wrote Dole : "If we had a Bayard Taylor with us he would furnish articles 
for the Tribune for a season." Behind the procession came a private ox- 
drawn train of three hundred more wagons with supplies for McDonald 
and Fuller, sutlers at Fort Gibson. From their perches on duffel in the 
wagons the travelers watched the sky line for guerrillas. 

The weather was sultry, with frequent cloudbursts muddying the roads. 
Wet clothing steamed on hot human bodies. At the Osage 'Catholic Mis- 
sion the refugees halted. From here on they must cross the dreaded enemy 
country. The prospect of danger upset the travelers' nerves. Stand Watie 
and Quantrill were said to be waiting for them just below the horizon. 
The frightened people refused to leave the cluster of buildings, yet the 
planting season and their own chance of raising a crop became shorter 
with each day's delay. 

Finally the refugees were persuaded to venture out on the last leg of 
their journey. But instead of being attacked by warlike Indians, a band of 
thieving Osage crept into their camp at night and drove away thirty oxen 
from the train. Another accident marred the passage. In one of the daily 
rainstorms a Negro interpreter was struck by lightning. The bolt fired 
every load in his revolver, blowing his feet and ankles to ribbons. 

The thirty-one-day march ended June 15, 1864, with the red Israelites 
splashing across the flooded flats into Fort Gibson. Coffin reported that he 
had brought the wayfarers through with only six deaths — and sixteen 
births. Three children had broken legs by falling from wagons and being 
run over. One man in the military escort drowned on the night of arrival. 
He had been thrown from his horse crossing Grand River, and the weight 
of his weapons sank him. 


The refugees had reached home at last, but Superintendent Coffin's 
troubles were not ended. His wards had arrived too late to put in a crop, 
even if they dared venture from the fort to their deserted homesteads. 
Moreover, the expected supply boat Williams had not arrived from Fort 
Smith, and instead of feeding the five thousand emigrants he had brought, 
Coffin estimated that sixteen thousand refugees had congregated on these 
far-off flats. Many of them had come south with the Indian regiments in 
1863. Others had ventured home independently. Fort Gibson was three 
hundred tortuous miles upriver from Little Rock, a hundred miles above 
Fort Smith, and a hundred and seventy-five overland miles from Fort 
Scott. Supplies here fetched fabulous prices. Flour in the store owned by 
the Ross family of Cherokee cost twenty-five dollars for a ninety-eight- 
pound sack — a prohibitive price for Coffin's dwindling funds. He was 
writing a report of his predicament when he received word that the boat- 
load of supplies he expected would not arrive at all. Stand Watie had at- 
tacked and destroyed the vessel twenty miles above Fort Smith. 

The stern-wheeler Williams had started with a full load and a guard 
detailed from the Twelfth Kansas. Stand Watie realized the vessel's im- 
portance to the refugees and laid an ambush for it. A nineteen-year-old 
Creek lieutenant, G. W. Grayson, recently back from school in the East, 
joined him with a company of Indians eager for military service. Watie 
assigned Grayson the task of preparing a screened battery on a riverbank 
where the vessel might be captured. Grayson, proud of his first important 
commission, selected the heavily-wooded shores seven miles below Web- 
ber's Falls, planted his three cannon on the south bank, and waited. 
Colonel Stand Watie's scouts rode inconspicuously along the shore beside 
the doomed vessel. On June 15 — the day the refugees arrived at Gibson — 
Lieutenant Grayson watched through the sheltering leaves as the Williams 
splashed up the middle channel toward his guns. When the steamboat 
was broadside, he ordered a shot fired across its bow. An answering volley 
from the boat ripped the branches above his head where the telltale 
smoke cloud from his cannon drifted through the trees. Lieutenant Gray- 
son ordered his other two guns and all his men to fire. Watie's regiment 
also galloped in to join the fun. Through the smoke they saw the Federal 
guards splashing off through waist-deep water to the north bank. The 
pilot waved a white flag from the texas, and whooping Indians waded out 


to climb over the gunwales. They found the boiler pierced and useless. 
One man lay dead. The cargo consisted of barrels of hominy, and salt 
pork — grand rations for guerrillas. Hour after hour they unloaded. Then 
the stripped vessel was set on fire and allowed to drift downstream. 

Stand Watie sent a courier to General Cooper, inebriate commander of 
Choctaw and Chickasaw, requesting transportation to haul away the rich 
booty, but before wagons arrived, Stand Watie learned that Union soldiers 
were coming in force from Fort Smith. He ordered young Grayson to 
stand guard with a platoon of his Creeks and hold the Federals, should 
they arrive before dawn. In the meantime, Watie's Cherokee loaded their 
horses with all the supplies they could carry and scattered away in the 
night, each man for himself — true Quantrill tactics. 

Lieutenant Grayson exulted in this second responsible assignment. 
Proud of his Creek blood, he gloried in the prospect of showing his cour- 
age in the unequal fight ahead. Let the world know that Creeks could 
whip Federals twenty-five to one! Carefully he placed each of his men on 
guard for the night. Then he rode back along his picket line to be sure all 
knew their duties. To his dismay every picket had deserted. Grayson alone 
remained to fight the Federals. He neck-reined his horse from the line of 
duty and cantered away. In any event, the Union refugees, with their 
supplies destroyed, were in a predicament. 

War was becoming a long holiday for the civilized Confederate Indians, 
and so long as Sherman drew away most of the Union soldiers for his 
investment of Atlanta, the license promised to continue. A lack of soldiers 
on the plains emboldened the wild Indians. Stage lines to Denver and 
Salt Lake City had been completely stopped by Sioux, Cheyenne, and 
Arapaho warriors. No one could be sure that they were allied to the Con- 
federacy, but their bullets and arrows killed just as effectively. Southern 
prisoners of war were offered their freedom if they would enlist to fight 
these savages, but only a few volunteered. Some of the sparse troops on 
police duty against guerrillas in Missouri, Arkansas, and the territory 
were ordered to the plains. 

Frustrations, battle reverses, and campaign stalemates extended to the 
Eastern seaboard in the spring of 1864. In May, when the Red River ex- 
pedition was acknowledged a failure, General Phil Sheridan had made a 
dash for Richmond, Virginia — chronic objective, seasonal as Price's raids 


to Jefferson City, Missouri. At Yellow Tavern the chivalric Jeb Stuart 
thrust his horsemen in front of Little Phil and saved the Confederate 
capital, but paid with a wound from which he died next day. Among 
Stuart's many casualties was Henry Clay Pate, Fifth Virginia Cavalry — 
"the so and so you've heard so much about." The man who hoped to take 
Old Brown, until Old Brown took him, had had a checkered military 
career since leaving Westport. In the Confederate Army he had once been 
court-martialed for mutiny, but in the end he died honorably as a lieu- 
tenant colonel. 

The military deadlocks and reversals weighed heavily on President Lin- 
coln. Many members of his party turned against him, blaming military 
defeats on his inefficiency. Joe Medill, editor of the Chicago Tribune, wrote 
Congressman Elihu B. Washburne to have Lincoln restore Fremont to 
command of the Department of the West if he wanted to be renominated 
for the Presidency. He said that the Tribune subscribed to twenty-five 
German newspapers, and their translator reported the Germans to be in- 
censed about the treatment accorded Fremont, Sigel, Osterhaus, and Carl 
Schurz. The Germans also resented Lincoln's disregard of the Missouri 

A convention of Lincoln's party opponents met in Pittsburgh on May 
31, 1864, and nominated Fremont as Republican candidate. A week later 
— June 7 — the regular convention assembled in Baltimore. Senator Lane 
was in temporary disgrace for being cowhided by a woman in Washing- 
ton. Lane explained the mishap by various stories. He said the woman 
had attacked him because he had kept her from annoying the President. 
He also said that Governor Carney, Robinson's successor as governor in 
Kansas, had employed her in order to discredit him and get the patronage 
Lincoln had given him. Talking to rallies of the "bhoys," Lane winked, 
shifted his quid to the other cheek, and admitted that he might be quite 
a man with the ladies. 

Thus restored to favor with the masses if not with the classes, Senator 
Lane traveled to Baltimore where the delegates were congregating to 
nominate a President to quash Fremont. On the incoming trains groups of 
delegates protested the renomination of Abraham Lincoln. Anybody 
would be better, they complained. The Grand Council of the Union 
League met to select their candidate the night before the convention. Need- 


less to say, their recommendation would weigh heavily on the morrow. 
Powerful and practical politicians stood up, made suggestions, pounded 
their fists. All seemed to agree that Lincoln's failure to end the war was 
sure to drag down the party in November. Finally Senator Lane, a trage- 
dian's thoughtful frown on his high forehead, paced down the middle 
aisle. Time and again he had stood before hostile border men who mali- 
ciously patted the pistols in their pockets. Yet always his magic voice had 
turned hatred to hosannas. But now he faced a different audience. These 
politicians believed themselves to be educated and intelligent, sophisti- 
cated, cynical, and capable of resisting the emotional appeals of hustings 
oratory. This was not Baldwin City and Lane did not purposely mispro- 
nounce "Leavingsworth" and "Topeko." Instead, he began with broad- 
cloth language and gracious style: 

Mr. President, Gentlemen of the Grand Council: For a man to produce 
pain in another man by pressing upon a wounded spot requires no great 
degree of strength, and he who presses is not entitled to any emotion of 
triumph at the agony expressed by the sufferer. Neither skill nor wisdom 
has been exercised in the barbaric process. For a man, an orator, to pro- 
duce an effect upon sore and weary hearts, gangrened with bitter disap- 
pointments, so stirring them up, even to passion and to folly, demands no 
high degree of oratorical ability. It is an easy thing to do, as we have seen 
this evening. Almost anybody could do it. 

For a man to take such a crowd as this now is, so sore and sick at heart, 
and now so stung and aroused to passionate folly, now so infused with a 
delusive hope for the future, as well as address himself to such an assem- 
bly, and turn the tide of its passion and excitement in the opposite direc- 
tion — that were a task worthy of the highest, greatest effort of human 
oratory. I am no orator at all; but to precisely that task I now set myself, 
with absolute certainty of success. All that is needful is that the truth 
should be set forth plainly, now that the false has done its worst. 

Lane's speech was short, but it hit the mark. He concluded: "If we 
nominate any other than Abraham Lincoln, we nominate ruin." The 
converted council resolved to endorse the Rail Splitter, and next day, in 
the Republican Party's formal convention, Senator Lane nominated him. 
Lane has also been credited wth the selection of Andrew Johnson as Lin- 
coln's running mate, and with securing the right to vote in the convention 
for delegates from reconstructed Arkansas, Louisiana, and Tennessee. 

Lincoln's re-election campaign 305 

After his slate was approved unanimously, Lane returned to Kansas 
to stump for Lincoln and also for a legislature that would re-elect him, 
Lane, to the United States Senate. He would need all the funds he could 
raise for this campaign, and when he arrived in Kansas, he learned that 
a new mania, exciting as the Pikes Peak gold rush, had swept the state. 
Thousands of cattle were being driven in across the Indian Territory to 
be sold at absurd prices by shady characters. Some cattle were coming all 
the way from Texas, but most of them were animals that had been aban- 
doned by the warring factions of civilized Indians. Enterprising individ- 
uals among the refugees stranded in the midst of this multitude of beef 
began driving cattle north by the Chisholm and a dozen other trails. In 
Kansas the animals were sold for a pittance. 

Soon, white border toughs saw the opportunity for easy wealth. They 
outfitted roundup camps, drove south, and gathered all the loose cattle 
they could find. At Humboldt, the commanding officer of the garrison 
patroling the Kansas state line reported herds of from a hundred to a 
thousand cattle passing through his lines daily. The men who brought 
the cattle had little or no title to them, but they made money selling out 
for a nominal figure to brokers who resold the animals to butchers, ranch- 
men, and army contractors. Lane's own supporters were becoming rich in 
this trade, as were many others — all voters. Among the prominent free- 
state men implicated were Samuel N. Wood, the Quaker abolitionist who 
had rescued Branson from Sheriff Jones in 1855, thus bringing on the 
Wakarusa War. He had become a brigadier general in the militia and a 
state senator. Shalor Eldridge and Dan Anthony were both accused of 
participating in this illegal trade. So was Lane's partner in the Conserva- 
tive, Daniel Webster Wilder. Even Governor Carney was not free from 

Lieutenant Colonel Plumb, Colonel William Phillips, and others tried 
to stop the stealing at the border and were relieved from duty. Evidently 
someone with great power in the army was profiting by the wholesale 
robbery. Senator Lane was implicated, by inference, but the cloud of 
accusations against him did not appear to jar his confidence. At the Re- 
publican state convention at Topeka on September 8, 1864, the Lane-Lin- 
coln ticket triumphed with Samuel J. Crawford the nominee for governor. 
Crawford's military record from the early days with Montgomery around 


Fort Scott to his service at Wilson's Creek and with Blunt at Fort Wayne 
all added prestige to his political stature. Republican Robinson seemed to 
be pushed permanently aside by the Lane machine. The New Englander 
consoled himself by endorsing Fremont's merits and maligning Lincoln. 

Senator Lane set off in high good humor with his menagerie, as it was 
called, to tour the state for his ticket : Lincoln, Crawford, and a legislature 
that would elect him again. Everywhere he went, audiences were promised 
grand entertainment, always something new. General Ewing, who had 
decided to run against Lane for the Senate, gave up the idea, and wrote 
his wife that the humbug was almost sure to carry the state. Two months 
before election, Sherman captured Atlanta and asked final permission to 
undertake his march to the sea. At the same time, his brother-in-law 
Ewing prepared to leave on furlough for Lancaster, Ohio, where his wife 
expected to be confined at about election time' or sooner. But before he left 
St. Louis, he learned that Shelby's horsemen were probing his outposts in 
the southern part of the state. He had heard rumors since last April that 
Price planned another invasion, but nothing had come of it. The route 
ahead of Old Pap, if he attempted it, was twice as long as Sherman's pro- 
posed march to the sea. However, the white-haired patriarch had become 
an expert at living off the country on long marches — in fact, had taught 
generals like Sherman that it could be done successfully. Now if Sherman 
dared cross Georgia to Savannah, Price might disconcert him by marching 
north to take St. Louis. The South's strategy to foil Sherman was plain 
enough. Did Sherman dare take such a chance, at least before election? 

The problem of stopping Price in southeast Missouri devolved on Rose- 
crans's district commander, Tom Ewing. The political-minded officer gave 
up his furlough, wrote his wife that he could not come, duty called: Kiss 
the children and give "ten cents for Will, ten for Mary and five for Tom 
with Papa's warmest love to his darlings." 

Cabin Creek and Pilot Knob 

Cjray-haired Pap Price rode exultantly north on his gray-haired horse 
Bucephalus, hoping to counteract Sherman's victories in the southeast. At 
the same time, Stand Watie planned another march northward into Kan- 
sas. He had been raiding the Fort Scott-Fort Gibson road for weeks, kill- 
ing Negro workmen, burning mowing machines and hay, carrying off 
what little booty his men could find. This had diverted only a minor num- 
ber of Federal troops. For the really important raid Watie planned, he 
urged General Richard M. Gano, new commander of the district, to join 
him with the Choctaw, Chickasaw, two regiments of Texans, and John 
Jumper's Creeks and Seminole. Watie had learned that a wagon train was 
lumbering down the Fort Scott road toward Fort Gibson, carrying sup- 
plies worth over a million dollars to the garrison and refugees restricted 
to a beef diet since the destruction of their stores on the Williams. The 
train had a strong guard of Federal Indians, but Watie and Gano, com- 
bined, could muster two thousand men and four cannon — surely enough 
to overpower the wagon guard. General Gano agreed to join Watie and 
capture the train. 

Like Price's raiders, these Indians were dressed in rags of Confederate 
uniforms — and some in shoes and blue coats taken from dead Federals. 
The equipment issued Westerners, red or white, had usually been picked 
over by Southern quartermasters before it crossed the Mississippi. At best 
the clothing made in Confederate factories was inferior. Indian soldiers 
complained that their issue hats of unscoured wool smelled like a sheep- 
pen. When wet, the brims hung around the men's ears like squaws' 
dresses. The eager column under Gano and Stand Watie looked forward 
to new clothes and good food when they captured the great supply train 
coming south. 


Circling carefully west across the plains, out of sight of Fort Gibson, the 
column crossed the Canadian, then the Arkansas and the Verdigris. On 
the second day's march, September 16, 1864, they came to the military road 
ten or twelve miles above the fort (near where Wagner, Oklahoma, would 
later be). A crew of Negroes was cutting hay here for the Federal cavalry. 
Guards with rifles stood on the hills to ward oft raiding Indians, but no 
preparation had been made to check the sizable army which swept unex- 
pectedly across the horizon. 

Gano and Watie galloped their line to within rifle range, then unlim- 
bered their cannon. A few shots of grape scattered the Federal guard, and 
the exultant victors rode unopposed into the hay-cutters* camp. With guns 
across their saddles, the ragged Confederate Indians jogged up and down 
through the uncut hay and the tall weed patches, shooting hidden Negroes 
like rabbits. Some black men rose from the weeds calling, "O! Good mas- 
ter, save and spare me," but all were shot down. Some were found sub- 
merged in the water under the creek banks, only their noses above the 
surface. These were killed like the others and their bodies dragged out on 
the pebble bars. 

When all were dead, the column burned three thousand tons of hay 
stacked for Fort Gibson. Then the raiders remounted and jogged north, 
weather-beaten hats flapping, braids of hair bouncing with the ponies' trot. 
On September 17, 1864, the column encamped on Wolf Creek (near pres- 
ent-day Salina). Next morning General Gano scouted ahead with four 
hundred Texans. He spied the train — three hundred wagons — encamped 
in the little cluster of houses on the bluffs above what was known as the 
Military Crossing of Cabin Creek. Gano watched stealthily from a dis- 
tance. Obviously the Federal commander expected to be attacked, for his 
guard of a thousand Creeks and Seminole were working on fortifica- 
tions — building a stockade and piling hay bales into a breastworks. 

Gano dispatched a runner for Stand Watie to bring up his Indians dur- 
ing the night. The red men had waited all day on Wolf Creek. Eager yet 
nervous, they made "medicine" and tried to recall old battle omens of 
their vanished long-house culture. Too bad the hated "pins" and their 
abolitionist Keetowah medicine men were on the other side! The country 
hereabouts had been unlucky for Confederate Indians. Stand Watie's at- 
tack at Cabin Creek on July 1, 1863, had failed. Was his "medicine" 


wrong? Indians in the ranks were discussing this seriously when Green- 
brier Joe saw a vision — a white deer near the encampment. He believed 
this a "sign" of victory, and the column was confident as it rode away to 
join Gano. 

The moon shone brightly and at midnight the Indians saw, across the 
silvered landscape, yellow flames from many enemy campfires. Soon Wa- 
tie's and John Jumper's brigades joined with Gano's. They surrounded the 
Federal encampment and closed in until near enough to hear shouting 
and laughter within the palisades. The teamsters and Federal Indian guard 
were drinking and making merry. In the darkness the raiders shouted 
taunts at them, and Indians in the barricade replied. The turkey-gobble 
challenge shuddered back and forth. No Cherokee of spirit could ignore 
that call of his blood. One wagoner, bolder than the rest, emerged from 
the stockade and stumbled defiantly toward the raiders' hidden lines. Told 
to halt, he sneered from the darkness at the cowardly attackers, went on, 
and was shot down. 

Major Henry Hopkins, commanding the Federal guard, ordered a vol- 
ley fired into the darkness. Gano replied with small arms and with artil- 
lery blasting the campfires, upsetting wagons. A herd of mules stampeded 
in confusion. The terrified animals dashed in panic over the one-hundred- 
fifty-foot bluff, braying shrill screams of pain and terror. With daylight 
the attacking Indians saw, through the tall grass, the cabin roofs, canvas 
wagon covers, baled hay barricades. Without orders they began to shoot — 
white smoke balls blossoming in the tall grass. Gano ordered the firing 
stopped, but individual Indians advanced alone before admiring tribes- 
men, snapping pistols at the enemy barricade, and urging comrades to fol- 
low in a general charge. Captain Grayson's Creeks handed around "medi- 
cine," rubbed it on their bodies or clothing. His first lieutenant, Tsupofe 
Fixico ("Thomas Benton" in English), offered some to his chief. The edu- 
cated young captain scorned the fellow's superstition and walked boldly 
up and down the line under fire, to demonstrate that "medicine" was 

Billows of smoke from the Federal guns fogged the fortifications. Major 
Hopkins decided to abandon his train and save his men under cover of 
the murky clouds. He retreated, fighting up the road toward Fort Scott. 
The ragged Confederate Indians, intent on loot, swarmed in among the 


deserted wagons. They poured captured brandy into their empty stomachs. 
Crazy drunk, they killed and mutilated wounded prisoners, and tossed 
property over the bluff into the creek for the sheer joy of watching its 
destruction. The commanders realized that they must get away or be 
crushed by a counterattack from Fort Gibson. Half the supply wagons 
stood fully loaded, but the mules that had survived shied and kicked at 
the staggering strangers who did not know their harness or understand 
which animals worked best at wheel, swing, or lead. Finally, a train of 
a hundred and thirty wagons was hooked up and started south by a new 
route west of the military road. Within an hour the sobering Confederates 
sighted Federal soldiers riding up the road from Fort Gibson. Scouts ex- 
changed a few long-range shots with them, but the Confederate column 
was laden with too much loot to stop and risk a battle. 

Federal losses in property amounted to hundreds of thousands of dol- 
lars. The sutler firm of McDonald and Fuller, who were handsomely sup- 
porting Jim Lane's campaign — as well as Abraham Lincoln's — valued 
their lost goods at sixty thousand dollars. The Confederates boasted that 
they had acquired sufficient clothing for two thousand men, besides boun- 
tiful foodstuffs. In addition, they had cut off communication between Forts 
Gibson and Scott. The isolated refugees, in spite of their bounteous supply 
of cattle, might flee again to Kansas. Worst of all: Where would these 
Confederate Indians strike next? People wondered while they watched 
for reports of Price's advance across Arkansas. 

Old Pap started his march north triumphantly. Would Lincoln dare let 
Sherman march to the sea while this horde menaced the West? As Price 
rode north, Marmaduke joined him with two brigades. General James S. 
Fagan marched to his standard with three. Fagan was a popular and ex- 
tremely handsome Arkansas politician who had rendered distinguished 
service at Shiloh, and was always sure to give a good account of himself. 
Early in September, Price's column crossed the Arkansas River, between 
Little Rock and Fort Smith. The Federal garrisons at both posts let him 
go without attacking. Thus Price severed his communications and 
marched ahead, precisely as Sherman expected to do in Georgia if Lincoln 
would give him permission. 

The Confederate invaders told each other that Fred Steele, in Little 
Rock, feared to come out and, like an Oriental prince, reveled with a ha- 


rem of romantic women surrounded by dogs, race horses, and the luxury 
necessary to his velvet-collared, shrill-voiced existence. 

At Pocahontas, Arkansas, Shelby joined Price's column with three more 
brigades — perhaps they should be called regiments. Already Price had 
marched as far as from Atlanta to the sea and was now more than half the 
distance to St. Louis. On September 19, 1864, he crossed into Missouri 
with twelve thousand men — only eight thousand of them armed — 
marching in three columns. Marmaduke commanded the right, his raiders 
skirting the swamps and bayous along the Mississippi. On the left, spritely 
little Shelby's horsemen galloped along the Ozark Mountain roads. In the 
center, Fagan's brigades escorted the wagon train and a thousand beef 
cattle. Thomas Reynolds, swarthy-skinned and urbane, rode along in a 
carriage, planning an eloquent inaugural when Price restored the govern- 
ment in Jefferson City. Cancer had killed Claib Jackson. 

Up in St. Louis, General Rosecrans, the department commander, feared 
that the Knights of the Golden Circle might rise, join the heroes, and take 
over the state. He impressed every available man into service. Provost 
marshals stopped soldiers on furloughs and hurried them into ranks. The 
district commander, Thomas Ewing — giving up his trip home to be with 
his wife during childbirth — boarded the train for Pilot Knob, the railroad 
terminal in the iron-smelting and coal-mining region halfway to the Ar- 
kansas border. At all bridges he posted guards and sent scouts south, hunt- 
ing for Price. At Pilot Knob a Union fort contained less than a thousand 
men. This was the main garrison in the area. The fort was a heptagonal 
earthwork with walls nine feet high and ten thick, surrounded by a deep 
moat with perpendicular sides. Behind the walls stood seven guns. The 
magazine in the center of the fort was protected by four-foot walls. 

Ewing's scouts came in here with prisoners captured from Price's col- 
umn. They reported the advancing Confederates to have from twelve to 
fifteen thousand men, ragged, poorly armed, but excellently mounted. 
Moreover, many of them were Missourians coming back to repossess their 
homeland and expel the "damned Dutch." Certainly they would fight 
desperately. Rosecrans sent word to Ewing not to risk a battle against 
overwhelming numbers and, unless sure of victory, to fall back on St. 

Ewing — his wife fast approaching her time of confinement — discussed 


the situation with his officers, and they agreed that the fort was impreg- 
nable. They wanted to test its walls against horsemen and were not afraid 
of ten times their number. Ewing decided to fight. His men, noting his 
protruding lower lip, judged themselves due for a real battle. Ewing be- 
lieved it good strategy to delay Price as long as possible at Pilot Knob, in 
order that troops might be transported from Tennessee and Alabama by 
boat and thus save St. Louis. Let Missouri's Thermopylae be here! He sent 
all the railroad rolling stock back to St. Louis and set the men to work 
digging additional trenches outside the fort. 

Pilot Knob was named for a volcanic cone of iron, sixty per cent pure, 
rising six hundred feet above one side of the fort. Across from it, on the 
other side of the fort, rose Shepherd's Mountain. Lookouts reported the 
enemy coming up the valley between them. For two days Price's army 
streamed in, pitching tents, moving from place to place. At night the Fed- 
erals heard their picks and shovels preparing gun emplacements. General 
Price, however, was somewhere in the rear, for he did not expect a major 
battle here. Shelby's horsemen scouted the roads to the west, watching for 
reinforcements who might be coming to aid Ewing. 

On September 27, 1864, Marmaduke, who was concentrating in the east, 
sent a rider with a message under a flag of truce to the Pilot Knob fort. 
Ewing opened the dispatch and read a demand for surrender. He sent the 
horseman back to his own lines with a defiant challenge. 

The Confederate Army moved closer, standing by thousands in the 
fields and along the roads to display their preponderant numbers. Then 
another flag of truce advanced to the fort. This time Ewing sent back 
word that he would fire on a white flag if another was sent. Confederates 
had taken Fort Pillow under a flag of truce and then massacred the Negro 
garrison. "They shall play no such game on me," he said. 

Rebuffed twice, the Confederates opened fire from a distance with their 
big guns. Puffs of white smoke disclosed battery locations on Shepherd's 
Mountain. In the fort Ewing's cannon fired back, spraying dirt among the 
white clouds. To the south, in the broad valley, Ewing saw four solid 
walls of men moving forward on foot. His men in the outer trenches 
waited until the enemy was within rifle range, then mowed down the first 
rank like wheat straw before a scythe. The ranks behind charged, shout- 
ing vengeance and death for the author of Order Number Eleven — the 


order which had vacated whole counties in Missouri. A regiment of gallant 
ragamuffins under General Cabell drove the Federals from the outer 
trenches and reached the moat. The Union artillery commander, Lieu- 
tenant David Murphy, leaped on the parapet in full view and strode along, 
stepping over leveled rifles, swearing abusively at the enemy, and urging 
the Federals to double their fire. Those bushwhackers fought with a reck- 
lessness that chilled the blood in the bravest defender of the fort. Again 
and again the rebels formed and re-formed, charging desperately. Soldiers 
peeped over the fort walls to see dead bodies sprawled face down, arms 
flung out; face up, arms clutching their shirts; bodies arched back over a 
rock or brush, eyes and mouths open. The Federals counted sixty-seven of 
them in a space no larger than an acre. In six hours the Union soldiers 
killed or wounded one and a half times their own number — a record for 
battle, E wing's adjutant reported. The Federals told themselves, and may 
have believed, that the enemy had been crazed by a ration of whiskey 
mixed with gunpowder. Finally, the Confederates retired, still undefeated, 
to build scaling ladders for tomorrow's assault. 

At night a curtain of darkness dropped around the earthworks. Distant 
bivouac fires sparkled like sequins on Shepherd's Mountain and like city 
lights down in the valley. The heptagonal fort remained brilliantly illumi- 
nated. Enemy shells had ignited a smelter's charcoal pile which burned 
like an incandescent lamp. Brigadier General Ewing called his officers to 
a sheltered bastion. A quarter of his forces were casualties. Price's expedi- 
tion had been delayed three days and as many more would be consumed 
before they could continue the march. This interruption would undoubt- 
edly give Union soldiers sufficient time to come up from the south and de- 
fend St. Louis. To fight Price's vast army another day at Pilot Knob 
seemed futile. The garrison's only alternatives were retreat or surrender. 
In the dazzling light of the burning charcoal pile, retreat might be impos- 
sible. Would the officers take the risk ? Yes, by God. 

In order to keep out of sight, the soldiers mustered in the shadow of the 
moat. A drawbridge was constructed on the dark side of the fort and cov- 
ered with canvas to muffle the sound of artillery wheels on the boards. 
Then a long fuse was laid to the powder magazine and the men marched 
into the night in column of two's, heading west toward Rolla, terminal of 
the South West Branch Pacific Railroad from St. Louis. When the last 


knapsacks on the last retreating backs had dissolved in the outer darkness, 
a rear guard lighted the fuse. 

The column was a mile on its way when the explosion pulsed beside the 
flaring charcoal pile. Confederate vedettes edged forward to investigate, 
and at dawn Price's men thronged over the wrecked earthworks. The fort, 
the town, the mines, and the Iron Mountain Railroad were theirs with di- 
rect connection to St. Louis, but thev had not a car or locomotive to take 
them there, and before thev could march the hundred miles to the city, 
Union reinforcements were sure to have arrived. 

Marmaduke begged for permission to gallop ahead of Ewing and, with 
Shelby on the south, surround and rub him out. Price demurred. Delays 
had possibly cost him St. Louis, but he might still capture the Missouri 
River towns and the capital. His supporters lived in western rural areas. 
With them and an uprising of the Knights of the Golden Circle. Missouri 
might yet be won for the Confederacy and Reynolds inaugurated gover- 
nor. To do this, Price must keep his armv together. A few of his vedettes 
scouted within thirtv miles of St. Louis, but the three big columns wheeled 
west, marching straight for Jetferson City. As they crossed and recrossed 
the Pacific Railroad tracks, they destroyed bridges, water tanks, and sta- 

General Ewing fought delaying skirmishes with the advancing army 
and read, in dispatches, that General Alfred Pleasanton was coming from 
St. Louis to strike Price in the rear with seven thousand horse and eight 
cannon. Pleasanton was a regular army man trained at West Point and 
also in the hard schools of active service in Mexico and in the West. A 
veteran, fifty years old, he had participated in the big battles of the Civil 
War — South Mountain, Antietam, and Fredericksburg. At Chancellors- 
ville, he had been credited with saving Hooker from complete rout. At 
Gettvsburg. he commanded all the Union cavalrv. Although Price had a 
larger armv, Pleasanton was a dangerous man to have at Old Pap's rear. 
Ewing determined to delav the invaders as much as he dared. 

Among the official militarv communications coming to Ewing as he 
fell back before Price's advance was a personal letter from Lancaster, Ohio. 
Wife Ellen wrote him, praising God that his life had been spared in the 
battle — and hers. too. for on that day she had borne a baby daughter. 
"Our dear little ones [were] perhaps never, never in such danger of being 


left both Fatherless and Motherless in the same day," she wrote. Then 
sensing the importance of the victory to her husband's political future, she 
added, "Your career is now onward and upward." 

The general was not so sure. Order Number Eleven would hurt him 
with the Democrats, and Lane was still a great man among the Republi- 
cans in Kansas. There was no telling what trick the Grim Chieftain might 
pull next from his political bag. 


ohelby was disappointed when Price wheeled west from St. Louis in 
October 1864. He wanted to strike the city, cross the Mississippi, and sweep 
through Illinois, Indiana, and Kentucky. The Knights of the Golden Cir- 
cle would rise everywhere, he said, to join the liberation. Price, however, 
was a Missouri politician. He had brought "Governor" Reynolds to inau- 
gurate him in Jefferson City. Knights in his own bailiwick awaited him. 
Hopefully the three Confederate columns — Marmaduke's, Fagan's, and 
Shelby 's, all under Price — moved westward. Every twelve or fifteen miles 
they camped to interview and recruit young blades who craved a chival- 
rous life. 

Price had planned with all the bushwhackers who wintered in the South 
to prepare Confederate sympathizers in Missouri to rise and join his in- 
vasion. He knew that many of Schofield's militiamen enrolled solely to get 
arms and might now fight the Union. During the winter Quan trill and 
Anderson had quarreled openly and separated. Bloody Bill received a com- 
mission from Price and rode North with his own gang. Only George Todd 
had remained with Quantrill and his men. They started back to Missouri 
together. After a hard ride, they were irritable when stopped by a Federal 
patrol, and during the skirmish which followed, Todd refused to obey 
Quantrill's orders. The two parted on the field. Quantrill sought the com- 
pany of Kate Clarke. Todd, who had a commission like Anderson's, trotted 
away with fifty trusted gunmen for a summer's freebooting until Price 

Price had urged all guerrillas to attract attention from his advance by 
fomenting disturbances north of the Missouri River and thus draw troops 
away from his columns. He urged them to cut all transportation lines and 


destroy bridges. The rich landowners up there had been proslavery sympa- 
thizers since Kansas days. Many of them had ridden as Border Ruffians. 
With the coming of the Civil War, local employees of the Northern Mis- 
souri Railroad quit work rather than take the oath. Many had joined 
ranger bands as Sam Clemens and Absalom Grimes had done, and even- 
tually went south to enlist or become bushwhackers. Paroled after various 
defeats, those who came home could surely be counted on to fight again 
for revenge. 

On September 27, 1864, as Price fought Ewing at Pilot Knob, and Stand 
Watie distributed his Cabin Creek loot, Bill Anderson rode into Centralia, 
fifty miles north of JeflFerson City, with a hard-faced following of bush- 
whackers — many of them reckless and insolent boys in their teens and 
twenties. He had recently captured a wagon train near Rockport in the 
extreme northwest corner of Missouri, getting thirty thousand rounds of 
ammunition and bounteous rations. Federal soldiers were congregating 
to catch him up there when, to everybody's surprise, he appeared at Cen- 
tralia, considerably over two hundred miles away. With him rode assorted 
gangs of gunmen under solemn George Todd, John Thrailkill with the 
curled and perfumed hair, and Dave Pool, the little, bearded joker. From 
Linn County, one Holtzclaw brought his gang. With Anderson's men 
rode Frank James and his brother Jesse, a narrow-faced, blue-eyed veteran, 
now in his seventeenth year. At 11 a.m. the four-horse stage from Colum- 
bia rolled unsuspectingly into town. The bushwhackers met it with leveled 
pistols. Eight or nine occupants stepped down from the vehicle and handed 
over their money and watches. 

At 11:30 a train from the East chuffed into the station. Passengers 
heard a volley of bullets rip the car sides. Then Anderson, in a blue mili- 
tary coat, black trousers, and jaunty military hat pinned up at one side, 
ordered the travelers out of the train. Twenty-four unarmed soldiers with 
discharges or furloughs were on board. Some of them hesitated on the 
platform when they saw the assembled bushwhackers. Anderson fired his 
revolver twice. Two soldiers tumbled dead between the cars, and all other 
passengers, military and civilian, crowded down the steps in confused sub- 
mission. Anderson ordered the soldiers to line up at one side, civilians on 
the other. Ruffians with drawn pistols stood guard over all. Then Ander- 
son, a slim handsome figure of five feet, ten inches, with black beard and 


long hair inclined to curl at the ends, strode in front of the uniformed 
men. "You Federal soldiers have just killed six of my soldiers, scalped 
them and left them on the prairie," he said. "From this time forward I ask 
no quarter and give none. Every Federal soldier on whom I put my finger 
shall die like a dog. If I get into your clutches I expect death. You are all 
to be killed and sent to hell. That is the way every damn soldier shall be 
served who falls into my hands." 

The Federals shouted protests, said that they had nothing to do with 
killing his men. They were just from Sherman's army on the other side of 
the Mississippi. One waved a crutch. Anderson ordered them to take off 
their uniforms. His men could disguise themselves in blue coats. Then 
Anderson turned his head, long curls waving. He ordered : "Fire." 

All the soldiers fell but one who ran desperately toward the execu- 
tioners, plunged through their line, darted under the cars, then under the 
station platform. Excited guerrillas set the station on fire and waited, with 
drawn pistols, until the frantic man emerged from the smoke, club in 
hand. He knocked down two bushwhackers before he fell, riddled with 
twenty balls. 

Next, the raiders turned to the terrified passengers. All were ordered to 
deliver their watches, jewelry, and money. One young man traveling with 
his mother slipped a hundred dollars in greenbacks into his boot leg and 
handed over a few bills and change. The amount seemed small and the 
robber asked if he had hidden any. The young man said "No." Told that 
he would be searched and if funds were found, he would be shot, the 
chap confessed. The guerrilla slipped the money from his victim's boot 
and killed him. A gold watch was found in the boot of a German and he, 
too, was killed. The raiders found $3000 in the express car, set the train 
on fire, and galloped away. 

Two hours later Major A. E. V. Johnson pounded breathlessly into town 
with three companies of soldiers. They dismounted and were tending the 
dead and wounded when Anderson swept back, scattering them before 
his pistol balls. Then the guerrillas dashed off once more. Major Johnson 
rallied his soldiers and followed. He found the bushwhackers bivouacked 
on a hillside in Fullenwider's pasture, three miles from town. The guer- 
rillas had watched him coming along the road, knew that they outnum- 
bered him, and decided to fight. 


Johnson ordered his men to dismount. Every fourth man held horses. 
The other three loaded their muskets, fixed bayonets, and advanced. The 
guerrillas, all finely mounted, waited in line, one foot in the stirrup, one 
on the ground. Each was armed with three or four Colts. At the end of 
the line George Todd lifted his hat to Bill Anderson — the Shelby salute. 
Anderson lifted his to Pool. Then with a yell all swung aboard and rushed 
up the hill, lying low on their horses' necks. Johnson's men fired one vol- 
ley overshooting the target and hitting only three men — a common mis- 
take when shooting downhill. Next moment the horsemen were upon 
them, killing every soldier where he stood. 

The men holding horses behind the line fled toward Centralia, some on 
foot, some mounted. Most of them were overtaken and killed along the 
road or in outhouses in town. Of a hundred and forty-seven soldiers only 
twenty-three survived. Major Johnson lay among the dead, said to have 
been shot by Jesse James. Dave Pool, capering as usual, bragged that he 
could walk the length of the enemy's rank on the bodies of dead soldiers 
without stepping on the ground. To prove his statement, he staggered 
along on the yielding corpses, seldom having to jump. Serious-minded 
Todd protested, "That's inhuman." 

"Aren't they dead?" Pool grimaced. "And if they're dead I can't hurt 

The Centralia victory was as complete and devastating as the Lawrence 
raid. It had been won without Quantrill. Todd and Anderson exulted over 
their achievement and sent their erstwhile chieftain an insulting message. 


The Eve of Austerlitz 

1 he centralia massacre augured well for the success of Price's expedi- 
tion, but when ten miles from Jefferson City, Shelby reported a tragic vic- 
tory. As his van came to the ford on the Osage River, the local militia fired 
on it. According to Shelby's report, "The swift and beautiful water was 
torn into foam-flakes that hurried and danced away to the sea. . . . 
[Shanks, the Confederate commander,] pressing on far ahead of his best 
and bravest . . . fell in the arms of victory — a bullet through and through 
his dauntless breast." 

Shanks's. command was given to grinning M. Jeff Thompson, sharp- 
faced Swamp Fox who gloried in ivory-handled pistols, brass buttons, 
canary vests and coffee-colored frock coats. The victory Shelby reported 
was complete, for the enemy militia, after their initial fire, turned their 
arms over to the invaders, either through fear or treachery — first fruits, 
perhaps, of the Golden Circle plot to deliver Missouri to the Confederacy. 
Could there be more to this conspiracy than was generally known ? 

As Price approached Jefferson City, he tried vainly to learn the number 
of its defenders. The failure of an uprising in town made him apprehen- 
sive. He knew that transports could steam up the Mississippi and the Mis- 
souri faster than he could march. Pleasanton must be somewhere close. 
Grant, now supreme commander, had sent A. J. Smith and Joseph Mower 
with reinforcements from the Tennessee theater. Among the incoming 
regiments was the notorious jay hawking Seventh Kansas. In its ranks 
stood a young Apollo named Bill Cody, the boy whose father had home- 
steaded on Salt Creek in 1854. Bill, on a drunken lark in February, had 
enlisted at Leavenworth. 


Price's legions assembled before Jefferson City on October 7, 1864. The 
scant troops at Columbia, thirty-five miles north of the river, hurried to 
the capital's defense. Citizens up there, left to the mercy of bushwhackers, 
organized under self-imposed martial law. Male residents were ordered 
to report, with the family musket, at a newly constructed blockhouse, or 
be listed as rebels. Some ignored the order, loaded their movable property 
in wagons, and followed the soldiers. With them traipsed two or three 
hundred Negroes, white-eyed with terror of what Price's men might do to 
them. Women packed their best clothes in trunks, hoping to save them in 
case their houses were burned. The women themselves had little to fear 
from the bushwhacker code. Left in their houses alone, they congregated 
in little groups to sew, drink tea, and gossip. 

Price's men looked eagerly at the capitol on the hill above the autumn- 
tinted trees. There stood the legislative hall from which Jackson and Rey- 
nolds had been expelled by Lyon in 1861. Confederate raiders had sighted 
that classic building every year since. Now, at last, they might occupy the 
city and hear the erudite "lieutenant governor" deliver his first guberna- 
torial inaugural with all the poetic allusions lacking in the rougher Claib 
Jackson's speech when he took the oath in December i860. 

Jefferson City's defenders — the number was still meager — watched the 
host forming in the fields south of town. Dark clouds in the west threat- 
ened rain. Against the lowering sky, majestic Price — a shining knight — 
rode to and fro on Bucephalus. Time and again curious citizens saw the 
flash of a thousand blades drawn for a charge, but no horsemen came. 
Throughout the night sentries watched and waited in the rain. At dawn 
the russet hills, the shining roads and lanes were empty. Price had gone. 
Pudgy "Governor" Reynolds, wet and miserable in his carriage following 
Price, cursed the general's timidity, and henceforth noted the commander's 

Old Pap had moved in the nick of time, for early next morning General 
Alfred Pleasanton rode in with his cavalry. He was a handsome middle- 
aged man with finely chiseled features. Sinewy and athletic, his slim fig- 
ure delighted military tailors, and his trim uniform was reflected in the 
tidiness of his whole command. A confirmed bachelor, Pleasanton had 
married the service and looked for no other charmers. In place of swords, 
he and his staff wore whips on their wrists — a badge of the drive he de- 


manded of himself and his men. Although outnumbered by Price, he 
would pound mercilessly at the rebel's rear. 

On October 9, 1864, Price appeared at Boonville, forty miles above Jef- 
ferson City. The town, always pro-Southern, welcomed the invaders and 
delivered to them the small Federal guard whose leader was executed 
without trial. The Confederate liberators stacked arms, like Indian tee- 
pees, in the streets. Farmers and townsmen swarmed among the soldiers, 
inquiring for friends who had gone south. Brothers met and embraced, 
beard in beard. The ragged invaders reveled in the stores, swaggered along 
the sidewalks in gay and fantastic costumes. Many of them had not been 
in a town, slept in a bed, or eaten at a table for months. Bloody Bill Ander- 
son jogged in from north of the river with human hair fluttering from his 
horse's bridle and three hundred bushwhackers in his train. Even Shelby's 
Iron Brigade watched these wild fellows with admiration. Supplies were 
plentiful and Price spent his Confederate money with lavish hands. His 
officers purchased the best in horseflesh and pranced along the streets dis- 
playing their mounts. 

Boonville differed from much of Missouri. Elsewhere the citizens failed 
to greet the liberators as some Knights of the Golden Circle had predicted. 
A majority of the people still favored the Union, and Price could save 
himself only by moving. His chivalric standard attracted romantic-minded 
youths, however, and when his roistering horsemen left Boonville, many 
of the fifteen- to eighteen-year-old boys in town left with them. A few 
mothers complained that their sons had been "pressed" into his service, but 
most admitted that they went willingly, eyes aflame with enthusiasm. In a 
deserted street, after the last raider had gone, a soiled notebook was picked 
up. People turned the pages curiously and read: "wee hav plenty of corn 
bred and pore beefe to eat and sasafras tee to drink." 

Price followed the road toward Lexington. Bill Anderson returned to 
the north side of the river. Panic and consternation fanned ahead of both 
columns. Mary Gordon, Columbia "schoolma'am," recorded her excite- 
ment in a diary. On October 15, 1864, when the courthouse bell tolled 
alarm — falsely — that Bloody Bill was coming, she scribbled: "It was but 
the work of a moment to get a bonnet and go flying" after the children. 
Merchants for miles around closed their stores, buried their goods, or hid 


them in the woods. Doctors hesitated to visit the ill. Pallbearers at one 
funeral were disturbed by the sound of approaching horsemen, but it was 
a false alarm, for Bloody Bill had ridden north by a different road. He was 
killed within the month. In his pockets were found $300 in gold, $150 in 
treasury notes, and several written orders from Price — a blot on the gen- 
eral's benevolent character, always. 

As Price moved westward toward Lexington, traversing ninety miles of 
twisting hilly roads, the telegraph wires east of Independence were cut. 
Kansas City, Leavenworth, Atchison, Lawrence, Topeka, and all farming 
areas of eastern Kansas speculated blindly on their fate. Visions of many 
more Lawrence massacres haunted every hamlet. The Department of 
Kansas was commanded by Samuel Curtis, placed there by Lincoln to 
atone for his removal from Missouri. Curtis met the looming emergency 
by establishing martial law and urging Governor Carney to mobilize as 
militia all able-bodied men, black and white, from sixteen to sixty. 

Governor Carney was busy with the last days of his campaign for re- 
election against Lane's candidate, the veteran Samuel Crawford, but he 
stopped long enough to issue a mobilization order. The call was answered 
by more than ten thousand farmers and mechanics — as unsoldierly an 
army as had risen to defend their homes since the days of the American 
Revolution, according to one volunteer. These militiamen were com- 
manded by George Deitzler. Sam Walker and "Colonel" Harvey both 
led regiments. A battalion of conscripted Negroes marched under Rich- 
ard J. Hinton, the Scotsman. Blunt had arrived with the Second Colorado 
and Sixteenth Kansas from the plains. He was eager to lead the way into 
Missouri and fight the enemy in their own country. 

The military excitement came at a time when the Grim Chieftain's po- 
litical campaign had turned sour. Lane himself broke under the mounting 
disapproval, becoming ill in bed at the Mansion House in Leavenworth. 
Voters still wanted to "elect old abe," but Lane had become a stumbling 
block. He could still provoke laughter with stories about his Platonic af- 
finity for the ladies. The "bhoys" cheered the crass manner in which he 
claimed to have stimulated Lawrence intellectuals with his knowledge of 
Latin by glibly repeating, "e pluribus unum',' "ne plus ultra',' and "mul- 
tum in parvo!' But political savants shook their heads, said Lane's sands 


were running out. They were sure that the majority of voters backed the 
Carney and Robinson faction. Lincoln might be defeated in Kansas next 

The political campaign was interrupted by a flood of news about Price's 
triumphal advance toward Kansas. All Missouri was said to be flocking to 
his standard for a Border Ruffian invasion of a magnitude never known 
before. Politician Lane saw an opportunity to retrieve his fortunes. Ex- 
changing his sickbed for a buggy, he whipped away to Wyandotte, crossed 
the Kaw to Kansas City, drove to Independence and down to Hickman's 
Mills. There was no question about the impending danger: What an op- 
portunity for him to regain his popularity by becoming the minuteman 
who saved Kansas! 

Lane mounted the stump with fiery energy. Why did Governor Carney 
keep the militia idly waiting in Kansas ? Let the battle be fought on enemy 
territory! Carney newspapers branded the alarm as political demagoguery, 
a trick to get anti-Lane voters out of Kansas on election day. Carney poli- 
ticians visited the militia camps, burned Lane in effigy, paraded a donkey 
labeled "Blunt," and urged the men to disobey orders to cross into Mis- 

In the political confusion some Kansas militia regiments remained on 
the border, others crossed. Senator Lane rode with Blunt, at the head of 
the Second Colorado and Sixteenth Kansas, all the way to Lexington, 
marching into this once wealthy Missouri town ahead of Price. They ex- 
pelled a company of local bushwhackers who were preparing to welcome 
the Confederates. Blunt and Lane marched another twenty miles along 
the road toward Waverly, Shelby's home town. Here they met M. Jeff 
Thompson, leading Price's van, and opened fire — the first shots in a 
week-long running battle through a hundred and fifty miles of western 

In the opening days of the battle, Price's column marched parallel to the 
Missouri, his right wing protected by the river. Behind him Pleasanton 
followed with a smaller number of cavalry. On Price's left flank came 
A. }. Smith's veterans and a rough regiment from the District of South- 
west Missouri under Colonel John E. Phelps — son of Congressman 
John S. Phelps, whose farm near Springfield had been ravaged periodically 
by invading Confederates. One of Phelps's men, Wild Bill Hickok, was 


riding as a spy in Price's column. In front of Price, Blunt's brigade har- 
ried his advance skirmishers but constantly fell back. 

Thus Price was surrounded, with inferior numbers of enemies on three 
sides and the Missouri River on his right. Directly ahead of him stood In- 
dependence, Kansas City, and Westport, practically undefended except for 
Blunt's two regiments, unless Curtis had mustered enough soldiers in his 
Department of Kansas to come over in Rosecrans's bailiwick. Price was 
confident that he could outride Pleasanton, sideswipe Smith and Phelps, 
and overpower Blunt. His main uncertainty was Curtis, whose natural 
slowness seemed to be increasing with his age. Moreover, Curtis had never 
regained full confidence in himself since Lincoln had removed him for his 
inability to get along with Governor Gamble. Now Curtis was caught 
again in a similar situation. Would Governor Carney be as jealous with 
his militia as Gamble had been ? 

Price marched rapidly toward Independence, kicking Blunt's little force 
ahead of him. Ten miles from town Old Pap rested in a roadside meadow 
as his men streamed past. (He always lay on a carpet sipping a toddy, ac- 
cording to "Governor" Reynolds's jaundiced recollections.) A squad of 
horsemen came up the road counter to the marching column, and turned 
into the field where he rested. The sullen-faced leader spoke a few words 
to Price's orderly and strode toward the general, reporting that his prison- 
ers were from Lawrence, Kansas. Price noticed something familiar about 
the captain's dull features and asked, "Who are you, young man ? " 

"I am George Todd," the captain replied. His prisoners winced. They 
knew Todd to be a man who never brought in prisoners alive. 

"Are you Captain Todd?" Price asked, for he had commissioned a 
bushwhacker by that name. 

"Yes, sir," Todd said, then turned to his prisoners, told them to dismount 
and go before the general. Todd and his companions rode off with their 
horses — the last ever seen of these animals and of Todd, too, except his 
dead body. 

Price queried the prisoners, asked how many men were ahead of him 
and their plan of battle. The prisoners said that the opposing army was 
led by Generals Blunt, Jennison, and Tom Moonlight — a Kansan who 
had distinguished himself as a captain with one cannon at Dry Wood in 
September 1861. These men intended to make a stand on the Little Blue, 


a stream east of Independence, flowing north into the Missouri. Behind 
them, between the Big Blue and the Kansas line, Curtis had his de- 
partment volunteers and the newly mustered Kansas militia under George 
Deitzler, totaling twenty-eight thousand men — almost three times Price's 
own force. Price did not believe it and asked a breakdown of the num- 
ber. When told that seventeen thousand — an exaggeration — were Kan- 
sas militia, he said so young a state could not raise so many. The prisoners 
assured him that they knew the number and that the first fight would be 
at the Little Blue, the second on Big Blue just outside Kansas City. 

Price dismissed the prisoners and ordered his army to strike at the Little 
Blue. The weather turned cold and misty. Through the fog his sentries 
found the Union forces concentrated as he had been told. Shelby drove 
them from the Little Blue crossings, and Price's superior numbers pushed 
them back into Independence. Fighting block by block for four hours, 
the Confederates cleared the town. This was Price's first severe battle since 
Pilot Knob. His kinsman John T. Hughes, ex-clerk in the Kansas "bogus" 
legislature, who had been with him since Wilson's Creek and Lexington, 
was killed. The bushwhacker George Todd also fell here. Farm boys, who 
had enlisted for glamor a few days before, died in the muddy streets, but 
the survivors could joke about the antics of excited commanders. Colonel 
Casper Bell was one such officer. He was known to his men as a rural 
parson who strengthened his faith in the Lord with bourbon whiskey, and 
chewed tobacco while he preached. Before delivering a prayer, he was 
wont to spit copiously, then lift his head, close his eyes, and begin. In the 
clang of battle he delighted his men with a vocabulary of unchurchly pro- 

Blunt's men, fighting as they backed through Independence, and Curtis, 
waiting at the Big Blue, and Deitzler, with the militia at the state line, 
all knew that Pleasanton was coming to help them, but they had no direct 
communication with him. Curtis, with his engineering skill, had con- 
structed breastworks along the ridge west of the Big Blue from Byram's 
Ford to the Missouri River. West of the ford, where the road traversed a 
hollow leading to the rolling country south of Kansas City, he had felled 
trees so that their branches pointed downhill. The limbs had been sharp- 
ened to impale soldiers advancing against them. Thus, Curtis hoped to 
halt Price at the Big Blue. Then if Pleasanton would strike quickly from 


the rear, the Confederates could be trapped between the Big and Little 
Blues. Deitzler's raw militia might even consent to cross the state line and 
fight behind the breastworks. 

To explain this plan to Pleasanton, a message must be sent across Price's 
army to him. One of Deitzler's men, Daniel W. Boutwell, volunteered to 
float down the Missouri at night, pass Price's right wing and climb out in 
Pleasanton 's lines. The project seemed feasible and he set off after dark 
in a boat, drifted onto a sandbar, climbed out on the south bank — not 
into Pleasanton 's lines as he hoped, but into a party of Blunt's soldiers 
who had been pinched ofl from their regiment by Price's advance. These 
men were hiding in the woods and hoped eventually to be picked up by 
Pleasanton. In order to increase the chance of escape, Boutwell separated 
from them before dawn, slunk over the hills and fields, eluded Price's rear 
guard, was challenged by and admitted to the advancing Federal lines. He 
asked to be taken before Pleasanton. The army had halted for a morning 
rest, and the bedraggled soldier was taken to the immaculate West Pointer. 
Pleasanton listened to the man's story. Convinced of its truthfulness, he 
snapped a crisp order. Bugles piped "Boots and Saddles." The call rang 
down the road. Other bugles picked it up far out in the fields. The distant 
figures of horsemen in formation, each troop with a fluttering guidon, 
trotted to assigned positions on the march. If Price was being held at Inde- 
pendence, he might be trapped and crushed to death this afternoon. 

Price, however, had not been stopped as planned. Elderly General Curtis 
lacked the necessary tenacity. He distrusted the Kansas militia, feared that 
Governor Carney — jealous of Lane — might recall them at any time. 
This Curtis was a different man from the victor of Pea Ridge. As Blunt 
and Jennison were pushed out of Independence, they retreated slowly 
through Curtis's defenses west of the Big Blue. Jennison's Fourth Kansas 
Cavalry was assigned to hold the abatis at Byram's Ford against the 

Shelby's cavalry were the first of Price's van to reach Curtis's line. The 
Iron Knight surveyed the defenses along the ridge as far as he could see 
toward the Missouri River. Probing south up the Big Blue, he encountered 
the abatis at Byram's Ford and pronounced it impregnable. Galloping 
farther upstream, he came to the end of the Federal line, splashed across 
the creek, and rode down the ridge on Jennison's flank. 


The Kansan was caught with his elaborate defenses in the wrong place. 
He withdrew, and with him went all the troops along the ridge. Shelby 
took possession of the abatis. Marmaduke, Fagan, and the Confederate 
wagon train forded unmolested and rumbled up the hollow among the 
felled trees — a good defense now to stop Pleasanton when he came. Far 
to the north, in the bare trees along Brush Creek just south of Westport 
and Kansas City, Curtis formed another line. His new position extended 
around Westport and stopped at the Kansas border where the companies 
of Deitzler's militia who had not crossed into Missouri were massed to 
defend their state. 

Price could have swung his column to the south now and started for 
Arkansas in good order, but Shelby urged a quick thrust at Curtis, then 
an about-face to knock out Pleasanton when he reached Byram's Ford. 
Napoleon might have done this successfully; Why not Shelby and Price? 

Old Pap ordered his wagon train to turn south on the road, be safe in 
case of a general retreat and accessible in case of victory. Marmaduke re- 
mained to defend the ford. Shelby and Fagan marched north across the 
rolling plateau. The short October afternoon allowed only a few more 
hours of daylight. Curtis retreated before the advancing Confederates and 
made a new stand north of Brush Creek at dusk. Shelby's division bivou- 
acked on the wooded crest south of the creek, with M. Jeff Thompson's 
brigade at the extreme west in sight of the lights in Westport. General 
Price established headquarters at Old Boston Adams's farmhouse. His 
generals rode in during the night to caution him about the danger of an 
attack and the advantage of retreating in the morning — all but Shelby, 
who fired the white-haired patriot's spirits, convinced him that a fight 
would be successful. With Price's promise for a general offensive at dawn, 
Shelby galloped happily through the dark to his men's bivouac on the 
wooded ridge south of Brush Creek. The night was frosty and the soldiers 
huddled close around fires. Those on sentry duty warmed their hands 
against their horses' bodies. Shelby dismounted and lay down, his back 
to a tree, for a wink of sleep, his goateed chin sunk deep in upturned coat 
collar. Napoleon had rested so on the eve of Austerlitz. Or had he ? 


The Battle of Westport 

During the night of October 22, 1864, Brigadier General Jennison, Colo- 
nel Moonlight, and Lieutenant Colonel Plumb moved detachments of 
Kansans along the state line from Westport south to below the Shawnee 
Mission — the red brick buildings already sacred in the struggle for a free 
Kansas. The veterans of Lexington and Independence mingled contemptu- 
ously with the militia who had remained timidly near the state line. In the 
darkness they could hear Shelby's troops moving into new positions for 
tomorrow's offensive. Sporadic rifle fire flashed red in the night where 
venturesome pickets clashed. 

Many of the Kansas militiamen were strangers to war. Others had seen 
service in the political skirmishes of territorial days. Among these was J. S. 
Reader, a Kansas dirt farmer who had marched with Harvey and his 
"forty thieves," fought with them at Hickory Point in 1856, but since that 
time had taken little part in politics or war. That summer campaign had 
been a picnic compared to this one with its cold rain almost every day and 
no tents to shelter the men on their march from Topeka to the Shawnee 
Mission. Now they were more comfortable in pup tents, but they did not 
feel like soldiers. All of them had reported for duty in their work clothes, 
and on the march each man wore a sprig of sumac in his hat. This made 
them feel more like an army in uniform. At night strolling Negroes enter- 
tained some of the men with capers, jokes, and tricks around the campfires, 
but hardships kept most of the soldiers growling. Tonight, on the eve of 
battle, they were all hungry. Wagons with rations were promised before 
dawn. In the distance, over Independence way, the unhappy militiamen 
could hear Pleasanton bombarding Price's rear. The dull booms lasted 
until midnight. "I'd rather hear the baby cry," Private J. S. Reader heard 


one man say. The fellow admitted being scared and said he expected to be 
killed in the morning. Reader tried to reassure him that the future state 
was probably better than this one. 

"Well, I don't know about that," the man replied. 

Reader wondered why he himself was out here in the cold. He had re- 
sponded to the draft because everybody else did. Personally, he was unin- 
terested in Lane's political maneuvers and would rather be back on his 
farm than dead on a Missouri battlefield. To build his own morale for to- 
morrow's fight, he unrolled a clean shirt from his clothes sack and put 
it on. 

During the night all Federal officers of brigadier rank or higher congre- 
gated in the Gillis House in Kansas City to plan tomorrow's action. Prac- 
tically all the Kansas militia had moved now from two to four miles across 
the state line, and Governor Carney had become ridiculous for claiming 
the invasion to be a political scheme of Lane's, but his continued outcry 
had permanently shaken General Curtis's confidence. In the afternoon and 
evening, as Price's men swarmed up from Byram's Ford, Curtis had or- 
dered his wagon train to retreat to Fort Leavenworth, and even some 
units of his line south of Kansas City and Westport were withdrawing, 
while the Kansas militia watched them go. Militia officers had overtaken 
General Curtis, driving north. At their insistence he came back for a 
council of war in order that all might co-operate. In a private parlor of the 
hotel Senator Lane, General Blunt, Captain Crawford (the candidate for 
governor), and a half dozen more were waiting for him. They persisted 
in fighting to save Kansas City and Westport. Curtis complained, said he 
had but four thousand trained men. The sixteen thousand militia under 
Deitzler — being state troops — might refuse to obey his orders. (This 
was eight thousand less than Price had been told was ahead of him, but 
with Pleasanton's force the number was close.) How could a general be 
expected to fight with such an assortment ? Rugged old Curtis looked tired 
and unkempt. 

The Lane men were furious. Kansas would be overrun, with ample de- 
fenders marching away from the fight. They urged and pleaded, but Cur- 
tis displayed the stubbornness of old age. At two in the morning some of 
the officers took Blunt to the other end of the room and whispered that 


there was but one thing to do : Disregard Curtis's superior rank, put him 
under arrest, and assume command. 

"Gentlemen, that is a serious thing to do." Blunt had been in trouble 
twice for precipitous acts, and he was not seeking any office in next month's 

"Yes," candidate Crawford replied, "but not so serious as for this army 
to run away like cowards and let Price sack Kansas City and devastate 
southern Kansas," ("and keep me from being elected governor," he might 
have added). 

"Will the army stand by me?" Blunt asked. 

"Yes, and we will stand by you while making the arrest." 

Blunt turned and walked toward massive General Curtis, who was still 
arguing with Senator Lane. "General Curtis," — Blunt spoke with the 
positive tone of a man used to command — "what do you propose to do?" 

Curtis turned his large dish-face down to Blunt's upturned terrier pro- 
file. From under his shaggy eyebrows Curtis saw the determined counte- 
nances of the officers around him. For a moment he seemed uncertain. 
The loss of a son and a daughter and the reprimand from Lincoln had 
shaken his usual determination. "General Blunt," he said, "I will leave 
the whole matter to you. If you say fight, then fight it is." 

The officers all turned happily on their heels and soon the patter of 
horses' hoofs could be heard as the commanders galloped through the 
night to their respective positions. 

Over at Independence, on this same night, General Pleasanton estab- 
lished his headquarters and rested after a hard day's fight through the 
town, having given Price the first reverse on his expedition. Pleasanton's 
Third Brigade under General John B. Sanborn had endured the brunt of 
the day's battle. Before retiring, Pleasanton ordered Colonel E. F. Wins- 
low of the Fourth Brigade to take over and pound Price until midnight, 
forcing him across the Big Blue. At dawn General Egbert B. Brown with 
the First Brigade was to relieve Winslow, cross Byram's Ford and push 
the enemy to the top of the hollow. Brown had lost one arm in action. His 
men believed that he had never thoroughly regained his nerve, but he 
saluted dutifully and rode ofif with his men. Pleasanton's next problem 
was to flank Byram's Ford and isolate Price's wagon train beyond. For 


this he selected General John McNeil, a man who knew the country well. 
The assignment was distasteful to him, but he could say nothing. The 
enemy blamed him for killing some prisoners and had sent word that if 
captured, he would be shot without trial. McNeil saluted as Brown had 
done and rode away. 

On the morning of Sunday, October 23, 1864, Pleasanton mounted his 
horse and with his staff and resplendent general's flag rode from Inde- 
pendence toward Byram's Ford to see how well General Brown had 
obeyed his orders. Sitting on the ground near Brown, Colonel John F. 
Phillips of the Seventh Missouri State Cavalry was changing from boots 
to shoes for the charge across the ford when Pleasanton thundered down 
the road. 

Phillips had never seen Pleasanton before and turned his head to watch 
curiously. The slim, handsome veteran commander halted his horse in 
front of General Brown, shook his cowhide whip in Brown's face, and 
with a volley of oaths demanded to know the reason why his division had 
not moved forward at dawn as ordered. 

General Brown saluted with his one good arm and replied that Colonel 
Winslow's men had blocked the road ahead. 

"You are an ambulance soldier and you belong in the rear," Pleasanton 
retorted. The general and his ranking colonel, James McFerran, were 
ordered under arrest. Then Pleasanton shouted: "Who is next in com- 
mand here?" 

Nearby officers indicated Colonel Phillips. 

"Where is he?" Pleasanton barked. 

"Here I am," the sock-footed colonel replied. 

"What are you doing down there on the ground?" 

"I am getting ready to lead my men into that fight down there." 

"If you want a fight you shall have it," Pleasanton called. "You take 
charge of this entire brigade and go down there and put those people out." 

Pleasanton neck-reined his horse to one side and, raising his whip, 
cantered away hunting General McNeil, who, like Brown, had not pushed 
forward on schedule. He, too, was arrested on the field and sent to the 

Colonel John F. Phillips remounted his horse, put two lieutenant colo- 
nels in charge of each regiment in his brigade, placed a battery to shell the 


abatis across the river, and by eight o'clock started down toward Big Blue 
and the ford. Balls from Marmaduke's men chipped the leafless trees 
around his advancing men. Phillips's horse had never been under fire, and 
the colonel felt the animal's heart beat between his knees. At the ford the 
stream ran breast high. The men crossed holding their rifles and cartridge 
boxes above their heads. Phillips splashed through on horseback. A shell 
exploded in the water behind him, blowing a horse and rider to shreds of 
flesh and putrescence. The colonel felt sick and had to steady himself in 
the saddle. 

Ahead, the road up the hollow seemed impassable through the abatis. 
Marmaduke's sharpshooters fired at every man who exposed himself. 
Phillips ordered his men to lie flat under the bristling stakes, while details 
went back for axes. Then he checked the range with his artillerymen and 
ordered a barrage. Behind this wall of fire his men chopped paths through 
the impediments. The honor of charging up the road to the top was given 
to Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Crittenden. Marmaduke's sharpshooters, 
in a cabin on the rim, picked oft the advancing officers. Crittenden or- 
dered his men to advance on hands and knees, stop for breath behind 
stumps and hillocks while rear companies fired volleys at the cabin and 
surrounding works. 

In the tumult a private ran back with the information that Crittenden 
had been killed. Colonel Phillips strode up the hill to investigate and take 
command. Among the stumps and roadside gullies sprawled the dead and 
wounded. Phillips recognized a captain with the back of his head blown 
off. The colonel took some letters from his pocket, one addressed to his 
fiancee. Farther up the road Phillips came to a lieutenant with his breast 
torn open to the lungs. The young man tried to salute as he slumped into 
a heap. Beyond him Crittenden lay on the ground, face white as death, 
hand clutching his side. The colonel ripped open the blouse and shirt. 
He saw a black spot on the man's stomach, but the skin was unbroken. 
Phillips held up Crittenden's head, poured some peach brandy into his 
sagging lips, saw his eyes open. A cough racked the prostrate man, color 
flushed his cheeks, and consciousness returned. A richocheting bullet had 
punctured his vest pocket, striking a leather wallet filled an inch thick 
with shinplaster money. The paper stopped the ball, but the impact had 
knocked the lieutenant colonel senseless. He soon stood up and stumbled 


after his men to the head of the hollow where they had stopped, having 
gained their objective. 

The victorious Union Missourians looked west across the rolling table- 
land between the Big Blue and the Kansas state line. Toward the south, 
stone fences crosshatched the farmsteads, and a brick mansion with white 
pillars — the " Wornall house" — stood by a road running north to Kansas 
City. In the fields to the west and south as far as the Federals could see 
stood Price's army — twenty thousand men, they estimated. As the Union 
soldiers gazed with wonder, Pleasanton rode up under his general's flag 
and watched. Pointing at the distant figures, he shouted, "Rebels, rebels, 
rebels, fire, fire, you damned asses." 

At the northwest end of the battlefield, during the forenoon of this 
tumultuous Sunday, as Pleasanton's men had fought their way up the 
gulch from Byram's Ford against Marmaduke, Curtis had been maneuver- 
ing against Shelby and Fagan along Brush Creek. Early in the morning 
the general had ridden from Kansas City to Westport where he stationed 
himself with a telescope on the roof of the Harris House — the old pro- 
slavery headquarters in territorial days. Curtis's aide, Major Preston 
Plumb, fresh from a midnight tour of the lines, could explain the terrain 
of each sector. Curtis ordered a general advance across Brush Creek. The 
men crunched through ice, window-glass thick, and trudged into the 
frosted woods. Within half a mile all of them were stopped by Shelby's 
and Fagan's lines. Some regiments were driven back across the creek. 

Curtis, scanning the tree-lined crest ahead of him and receiving reports of 
reverses along the line, heard — far to the southeast — Pleasanton's cannon 
begin their morning bombardment at Byram's Ford. Over there General 
Brown had just been arrested on the field, and the advance was beginning. 
Day before yesterday, Curtis had planned a double attack on Price, front 
and rear. Perhaps he could execute one today. He lowered his telescope 
and called for his horse. The general would lead a charge up the brushy 
ridge in person. This might be the decisive moment of the battle. 

General Curtis rode along his own and Deitzler's lines to prepare the 
soldiers for a charge. An old man tottered up to his horse, said he lived 
in these parts and that a gulch "yender" penetrated the enemy's line. Cur- 
tis looked where the aged man pointed and ordered Blunt, with a strong 


force of his fighting regiments, up the hollow to flank the enemy, then 
notified Deitzler to prepare his entire line for an advance when Blunt's 
men opened fire. Curtis also invited the aged man to ride with him during 
the day and watch, but the patriarch declined — too old, he said. 

The maneuver succeeded. Blunt emerged from the gulch with Shelby 
on his left and M. Jeff Thompson on his right. Having flanked both their 
positions, he began firing down their lines, and thus forced them to move 
south to the next low ridge. As they retreated, Deitzler's long line ad- 
vanced through woods south of Brush Creek and occupied the vacated 
Confederate positions. General Curtis consulted his watch — a habit with 
him in battle. The time was n a.m. 

Price saw now that these Kansas militiamen who outnumbered him two 
to one would fight like veterans. He learned, too, that Marmaduke was 
being forced back by Pleasanton in the hollow across from Byram's Ford. 
Price realized that Shelby's plan was failing. Instead of defeating Curtis 
and then turning on Pleasanton, the Confederates were losing ground on 
both fronts. The two Union commanders might soon join forces and, with 
a solid line, hit the Southerners on three sides — perhaps cut Fagan and 
Shelby off from Marmaduke and the wagon train. Price ordered all his 
divisions to concentrate for a general retreat toward the wagons on the 
road leading down the state line. But he had not reckoned with Jo Shelby. 
The goateed and poetic cavalryman did not want to retreat unless whipped 
and, like John Paul Jones, believed that he had not yet begun to fight. He 
moved his brigade south to another ridge on the rolling farm land, un- 
limbered his cannon, and bombarded the Federals who followed him. 

Between the lines lay a sloping valley of brown, frost-killed grass. A 
Federal battery galloped up the north ridge, unlimbered, and opened fire 
on the Confederates' position. Colonel J. H. McGhee, with a regiment of 
Arkansas cavalry, decided to stop the Federals' impudence. In battalion 
front he raced across the swale to capture the guns. Colonel Jennison saw 
him coming. He turned to Captain Curtis Johnson and ordered him, with 
Company E of the Fifteenth Kansas Cavalry and a squadron of the Second 
Colorado under Captain Green, to countercharge. Let horse meet horse 
on the open sloping prairie — one of those chivalric displays seldom seen 
in real battle. As the two lines charged, Johnson and McGhee singled out 
each other. With poised revolvers both fired. Johnson was hit in the arm, 


McGhee through the heart. The two lines of riders clashed, shooting and 
slashing. Then the Arkansans spurred back to the protection of Shelby's 
lines — all except the dead and badly wounded. 

Vastly outnumbered now, with Fagan, Marmaduke, and Price all hurry- 
ing south with the wagon train on the Little Santa Fe road, Shelby and 
M. Jeff Thompson retreated once more to stand on the ridge beyond. It 
was their men and Marmaduke's whom Pleasanton saw when he swore 
at his men : "Rebels, rebels, rebels, fire, fire, you damned asses." 

Shelby discovered Pleasanton on his right flank when it was almost too 
late. Marmaduke was out of sight now, and from the west, Colonel Moon- 
light galloped in to completely surround him. Stone fences two miles away 
promised cover. Shelby ordered his men to mount and fly. His wounded — 
who had been placed in the brick Wornall mansion, while the womenfolk 
cowered in the cellar — were abandoned. Shelby himself barely got away, 
hatless, six-shooter in hand, long sandy hair waving in the wind. At the 
stone walls he dismounted again and stood the enemy off until dark, then 
slipped away. Eight hundred of his best men lay behind him on those 
brown fields. 

Thus ended the battle of Westport, biggest Civil War engagement west 
of the Missouri with over 29,000 men in the field — 20,000 Federals, 9000 
Confederates. Both commanding generals — Curtis and Price — lacked 
their usual spirit and resolution. At no time did Price have more than a 
third of his men in action. Subordinate Generals Marmaduke, Shelby, 
Pleasanton, Blunt, and Jennison fought desperately. The only western 
battles comparable in point of numbers engaged were Pea Ridge with 
26,700, Prairie Grove, with 24,000, Lexington with 21,000, and Wilson's 
Creek with 15,575. In every one of these engagements, except Pea Ridge, 
the army with the greatest number won the victory — a commentary on 
Curtis's generalship when at his best. Thomas Ewing, Jr., in St. Louis, 
now out of the political race and hurt because he had not received the 
recognition he felt due for Pilot Knob, wrote his wife Ellen: 

You see Price is making for Kansas. Look out for outrageous lying 
dispatches from Lane, Blunt, Carney and co. They have each a pack of 
most [undecipherable] and scoundrelly Hers that ever filtered filth 
through a goose quill: who tag after them to make cowardice appear 
courage, disasters victories, and skirmishes decisive battles. 


Retreat from Moscow 

On the night of October 23, 1864, after the battle of Westport, Generals 
Curtis and Pleasanton met for the first time. The conference was held in 
a farmhouse behind Price's retreating column. Pleasanton was ill. Out- 
side, in the dark, both Union armies bivouacked in the rain — some had 
forged ahead for miles on Price's trail. Pleasanton's men complained 
with pride that they had eaten nothing since Saturday noon, October 21, 
that the water dripping from their hat brims and running into their beards 
provided poor refreshment. 

October 24 dawned wet and blustery. A dozen regiments streamed down 
the road in a column fifteen miles long. Curtis and Pleasanton rode in the 
same ambulance, but their armies jostled jealously for position on the 
march. Colonel Moonlight, with the Second Kansas Brigade, struck off 
independently down the state line, intent on reaching and defending Fort 
Scott in case Price headed for that depot. Blunt, with his veteran First 
Brigade, followed Price. Beside him, to the east, rode the hero of Byram's 
Ford, Colonel John Phillips, at the head of Pleasanton's column. 

Price's army marched in four parallel columns — compact, hard to cut, 
easy to defend, and disciplined with despair. Crossing the state line into 
Kansas, Phillips's brigade harried Price's rear for half the night. At dawn, 
October 25, Old Pap ordered Marmaduke to deploy on a prairie below the 
Marais des Cygnes — the "Mary Dasun," one of the soldiers called it in his 

Phillips's men, tired, sleepy and munching raw field corn, blundered 
into Marmaduke's lines and opened fire. The Confederates fell back fight- 
ing. As they retreated, Blunt rode in with two regiments — both tired 
after two nights' bivouac in a cold rain, but eager to knock out the enemy. 


Seeing Phillips's troops on the vacated field, Blunt was furious. Why had 
the Missourians crossed into the Department of Kansas to steal a battle 
from the soldiers who belonged there? 

As the Union commanders glared at each other, Price moved, in good 
order, down the road. Phillips and Blunt both rested their exhausted men. 
A few miles south of them Price decided to stop and form again for battle. 
He selected a site on Mine Creek where the tree-bordered stream crossed 
an open prairie — ideal for a cavalry engagement. North of the stream 
Marmaduke deployed his division in line. South of him, in the open coun- 
try beyond the creek, Fagan's division formed a second line of defense. 

Samuel Crawford, with a small party of men, had shadowed Price and 
now watched the Confederates form for battle — the first to be waged be- 
tween regular troops on Kansas soil. As candidate for governor in the 
impending election, Crawford determined to take an active part, and 
waited on the open prairie for Union soldiers to arrive. The first to come 
was Colonel Phillips, with his two tired regiments from Pleasanton's 
column. They deployed slowly in battle line. Crawford waited, looking 
for Blunt. Some of Deitzler's militia arrived, but still no Blunt. Crawford 
suspected that the black-headed scrapper was sulking because Pleasanton's 
men had struck ahead of him on the Marais des Cygnes. 

Finally, Crawford became convinced that Blunt was not coming. He 
rode over to talk to Colonel Phillips. "I never like to be fired upon," he 
said; "let's charge them." The leading regiment was ready, and away they 
went. Accounts differ about the details of the ensuing events. Crawford 
described the action on many a hustings in the years to come as a spec- 
tacular cavalry charge with the two lines riding as though on parade. 
Marmaduke's line, he said, was not parallel to the oncoming Federals. 
The two struck first at one end. Then, like closing shears, the clash of 
steel rang down the ranks — a rip tide of wielded sabers. 

Other participants saw the melee with more confused eyes — the Fed- 
erals charging in column of regiments, bugles blowing, guidons crackling, 
the whole brigade a swirling chaos, men fighting on horse and on foot, 
slashing and shooting, all semblance of military lines lost in the turmoil. 
Many of Marmaduke's men retreated through the Mine Creek tree belt, 
falling over one another on the trails in a panic to reach Fagan's deployed 
line. In the confusion Marmaduke's saddle horse became unmanageable, 


threw its rider, and galloped away, head held on one side, reins flying. 
Deitzler's advancing militia became as confused as the cavalry. Private 
J. S. Reader, of Topeka, found himself alone. He heard distant shooting 
and saw men running all about him. Not knowing which way to go, he 
wrote his name on a piece of paper, pinned it in his drawers, and walked 
in the direction he believed toward home. Private James Dunlavy, Com- 
pany D, Third Iowa, noticed a big, farmerish Confederate in rain-streaked 
blue jeans and leveled his gun at him. The portly man held up his pistol 
by the barrel with one arm. The other arm hung limp and wounded. Dun- 
lavy disarmed and marched the big captive back up the road, inquiring 
the way to General Curtis's headquarters. He found the commander in 
his ambulance, reported that his prisoner claimed to be Major General 

General Curtis looked from under his shaggy eyebrows at the captive. 
"How much longer have you to serve?" he asked Private Dunlavy. 

"Eight months, sir." 

The general turned to his adjutant. "Give Private Dunlavy a furlough 
for eight months," he ordered. The proud Iowa boy saluted and strode 
off with Marmaduke's belt and sword for souvenirs. Brigadier General 
Cabell, four colonels, a thousand men, and ten pieces of artillery had also 
been captured. 

When Crawford — according to his account — saw Marmaduke's line 
disintegrate, he rallied as many of his Kansans as he could find and with 
Phillips's two disciplined regiments, crossed Mine Creek to where Fagan 
stood on the prairie a thousand yards beyond. Candidate Crawford felt 
sure that Fagan's line would crumple as Marmaduke's had done. Colonel 
Phillips was willing to risk another assault. But he noticed the haggard 
condition of his men and their mounts, so he ordered them to deploy 
slowly and rest along the tree border of Mine Creek. Let the horses eat 
grass for a few minutes. While the men waited, a courier from Pleasanton 
arrived with an order for Phillips to recall his troopers. 

Crawford, with his handful of Kansans who had remained in forma- 
tion, watched Phillips's brigade retreat north as Marmaduke's retreated 
south. Unwilling to admit defeat, Crawford followed the Confederates 
cautiously. He saw Shelby replace Marmaduke as rear guard, and form 
line after line of defense as the column moved away. Across the Little 


Osage, the road forked. The west branch led to Fort Scott, twenty miles 
beyond. The east branch went back into Missouri. At the dividing of the 
ways Price formed for another stand. His legions appeared ragged and 
exhausted, standing there on the dreary plain under lowering storm clouds. 

As Crawford watched, Blunt's column came in sight, but instead of 
stopping, the grim little commander marched along the Fort Scott road 
without turning his head toward the enemy — in plain sight only a half 
mile away. Behind Blunt, Crawford saw Pleasanton's guidons, the head- 
quarters flag of the commanding general, a long file of prisoners, and the 
ten captured guns. This column, too, followed the Fort Scott road, ob- 
livious to Price's entire army standing miserable as wet sheep on the east- 
ern sky line. 

The gubernatorial candidate galloped back up the road hunting Curtis. 
He was sure that a final display of force would win the surrender of 
Price's entire army. Only one thing needed to be done now: Order Blunt 
and Pleasanton to wheel and surround him. Curtis listened to Crawford's 
description of the situation and from his ambulance dispatched a courier 
to overtake the generals with an order to turn and fight. Rain had begun 
to fall as this rider reached the columns. Both generals refused to obey 
and splashed on toward Fort Scott. Their men had been fighting almost 
continually for three days with little food. Tired troopers, drenched to the 
skin, nodded in their saddles. Pleasanton sent back a surgeon's certificate 
declaring his men physically unable to remain in the field. Four hours 
later, when they arrived at Fort Scott and unsaddled, the men toppled, 
sound asleep, on the wet ground beside their gear. Pleasanton, however, 
was sufficiently awake to telegraph the press that he had captured Marma- 
duke, thus giving credit for the victory to himself and Rosecrans. 

Curtis arrived at the fort in a huff. He insisted that the prisoners, cap- 
tured in his department, be sent to Leavenworth. Pleasanton wanted them 
sent to St. Louis. The two commanders quarreled. Volunteer soldiers, 
resting and drying their clothes in the mud, complained that the generals 
were more concerned about the bushwhacker than they were about the 
comfort of their own men. The quarrel over prisoners soon extended it- 
self into mutual accusations of negligence for bypassing Price's army — 
censures that would last for years. Certainly the Confederates had been on 
the edge of collapse, for the poetic Shelby reported officially: 


The fight was to be made now, and General Price, with the pilot's wary 
eye, saw the storm-cloud sweep down, growing larger and larger and 
darker and darker. . . . The fate of the Army hung upon the result, 
and our very existence tottered and tossed in the smoke of strife. The 
red sun looked down upon the scene, and the redder clouds floated away 
with angry sullen glare. Slowly,, slowly my old brigade was melting 

When the disintegrating brigade was left to itself bv the retreating Fed- 
erals. Price ordered four hundred of his wagons burned. Then he exploded 
all excess ammunition and, in a drizzling rain, started on a sixty-one-mile 
forced march. The road behind him was strewn with guns and clothing. 
Men deserted bv battalions. Exhausted survivors bivouacked the second 
night in the fields around friendly Carthage. A few of them remembered 
driving Sigel from this village in the sizzling July days of 1861. The villag- 
ers still hated the "Dutch" as much as evdr. "I don't know that a longer 
march graces history," one trooper scrawled in his journal, "a fatal day for 
horse flesh." Another wrote: "No bread for 6 days." 

The Kansas militia, after pursuing Price so bravely, returned home from 
Fort Scott and adjacent encampments to vote. Kansas elected Samuel 
Crawford governor, with a legislature pledged to return Lane to the Sen- 
ate. Abraham Lincoln was the state's choice for President. Crawford went 
back to Topeka, hung up his sword, and told fellow citizens: "General 
Price, like Napoleon from Moscow, faced the November storms and 
jogged along southward, wrapped in thoughts of the wreckage occasioned 
by his indiscretion." 

General Curtis, freed at last from political soldiers, became himself 
again. Always at his best on the march, he overtook Price at Newtonia, 
Missouri. Here Old Pap held back the Federal Army for three hours. 
During the fighting Blunt noticed a great cloud of dust south of town. 
Suspecting the Confederates to be retreating, he galloped around to flank 
them but found himself cut off by Shelby and barely fought his way out 
to a relief unit from Pleasanton's column. Those Iron Horsemen were a 
match even for Blunt's Coloradoans. In the confusion Wild Bill Hickok, 
who had been spying in Price's lines during the entire raid, slipped into 
the Federal lines. 

Marching on down the wire road, the Union boys gloated as they swung 


past the battlefield of Pea Ridge — covered now with a skiff of snow. Elk 
Horn Tavern had burned. Here was the scene of Curtis's great triumph. 
No other commander west of the Missouri had won a comparable battle. 
Here rolled the fields below the bristling ridge. Here Curtis had smelled 
horse sweat and saddle soap as he watched the enemy's lines dissolve. 
"Victory, victory," he had shouted, forgetting himself. Sight of the battle- 
field revived another forgotten memory. The great triumph had been 
tempered by news of the fatal illness of his "dear Sadie." 

South of Pea Ridge, Curtis's army marched through Cross Hollows. 
His other army of victorious soldiers had feasted here on captured Louisi- 
ana game chickens. Great times then and now! At Fayetteville the Federal 
garrison reported that Price's army had circled the town without stopping 
to fight, and was still streaming westward on the wire road, less than ten 
miles away. Following them through the rich farming country toward 
the battleground of Prairie Grove, the Federals foraged and feasted, as 
they had always done, on apples, beef, pork, and sorghum. 

Price's men also foraged and rested for a day at Cane Hill. Confederate 
soldiers wrote in their journals that they received the first corn here for 
horse and man since leaving Independence, the first issue of salt, also. 
Price's Arkansas conscripts refused to march out of the state into Indian 
Territory and deserted by regiments. Told that the pursuing Federals 
would kill them on sight, they disappeared into the Boston Mountains 
rather than remain longer in ranks. 

General Curtis feared that Price might strike at Fort Smith as he re- 
treated, for the Confederate still had a formidable army, but Old Pap did 
not even dare cut south across the Federal line of communications between 
Fort Smith and Little Rock. His one idea was escape. At the Arkansas 
River, in Indian Territory, friendly red men supplied bear grease for him 
to calk boats and cross the stream. Curtis followed to the riverbank and 
called a halt. Beyond stretched the interminable plains, dreary now under 
tawny grass. To construct new boats would consume enough time for 
Price to reach Texas or the enemy lines in Arkansas. The exultant Fed- 
erals fired a parting salute of twenty-four shots at the great plains beyond 
and turned their faces north. 

Price's desolate journey across the Indian country proved to be the worst 
experience his men had yet suffered. Hundreds of them perished. One 


soldier reported marching three days without food. Another wrote that his 
troop ate nothing but acorns for four. A fat pony was devoured with relish 
by a third company. "G~ d— old Price" became a constant ejaculation. 
"We have endured more than is recorded of any soldiers in the annals 
of History and yet half is not felt nor told," Private J. H. P. Baker com- 
plained in his journal. Three days later he wrote that the army reminded 
him of the children of Israel traveling through the wilderness. "But alas! 
We have no cloud by day nor pillar of fire by night." Instead, the retreating 
Confederates heard the maniac laughter of coyotes on the inky ridges. 
Men who dropped out asked to have enough sticks piled over them to 
keep off these little wolves. . 

Only six thousand men survived the circle west through Indian Terri- 
tory and back into the Confederate lines at Laynesport, Arkansas, where 
the column arrived on December 2, 1864. Price could report optimistically 
that he had marched fourteen hundred and fifty-four miles, fought forty- 
three battles, and captured great quantities of Federal supplies. He did not 
say that he had lost five thousand stand of arms, all his cannon, and the 
greater part of his army. "Governor" Reynolds released to the press a 
scathing criticism, accusing Price of "glaring mismanagement and 
distressing mental and physical military incapacity." 

General Curtis rode back to Fort Leavenworth in his ambulance. On 
the way he learned that Rosecrans had been superseded by Grenville M. 
Dodge, the Iowa colonel who had fought so doggedly at Pea Ridge. 
Wounded in that battle, Dodge had continued to distinguish himself, 
fighting in the deep South until wounded again under Sherman before 
Atlanta. Recuperating on a visit to Grant's headquarters at City Point, 
Virginia, he had traveled up to Washington as Lincoln's guest, discussed 
with him the great ambition of his life — a transcontinental railroad — 
and now was assigned this western department on the edge of the plains 
where he hoped some day to lay the first rails. 

Curtis wrote to congratulate Dodge, warning him that both of them 
would have trouble with horse thieves since the Missouri River had 
frozen. His own spare troops must be sent to re-establish the mail line to 
Denver. Then he learned that the people of that city had taken a drastic 
step to quell the plains Indians themselves. Colonel J. M. Chivington, 
commander of the district, had marched nine hundred volunteers across 


the winter plains to an Indian encampment on Sand Creek. Seven hun- 
dred Cheyenne and Arapaho had congregated forty miles below Fort 
Lyon — named for the martyr general. They claimed to be peaceful and 
denied participation in last summer's raids on the mail and stage lines. 
Denver settlers were not so sure. They knew that the Confederates had 
been contriving since 1861 to incite the plains Indians against Northern 
whites. George Bent, son of fur trader William Bent and the Cheyenne 
Owl Woman, was in the Sand Creek encampment. He was an intelligent 
mixblood, educated at Westport and at an academy in St. Louis. His 
father, a friend of Frank Blair's, had remained loyal to the North, but 
George had fought in the Confederate Army at Wilson's Creek and Pea 
Ridge. Recently he had "gone native" and fought with his mother's peo- 
ple against the whites on the plains. He had great influence with the 
"horse Indians" and his loyalty to the Union was questionable. 

Colonel Chivington surprised this Indian encampment on the morning 
of November 29, 1864, by opening fire without warning. Several hundred 
men, women, and children were shot. Scores of others escaped, some to 
die of exposure on the plains, others to dedicate the remainder of their 
lives to killing white men for revenge. General Curtis's policing of the 
mail line thus became a major Indian war. As he prepared for the frigid 
midwinter expedition, newspapers printed glowing accounts of Sherman's 
victorious march to the sea. The nation went wild with joy. General Cur- 
tis was taken aback by the popular adulation and wrote his brother, "Sher- 
man's success was glorious but in justice to myself not equal to my pursuit 
of Price in that I had a less force against a larger, won several victories 
and had to go as far through a desolate country." 

In the face of such lack of appreciation of his services, elderly General 
Curtis asked to be relieved from the hardships of the midwinter campaign, 
and Lincoln complied with his request. The President did not fill his 
place but, instead, extended Dodge's department to include Kansas, Ne- 
braska, and Utah — the plains country Dodge knew so well. 

The reorganization of the border departments and the disintegration 
of Price's army had been watched from the Missouri "bresh" by Charles 
Quantrill, who had noted with grim satisfaction the violent deaths of his 
hated rivals Todd and Anderson. In spite of these dead men's boasting 
about Centralia, his sacking of Lawrence remained the outstanding bush- 


whacker victory of the war. Quantrill had a plan now to eclipse that glow- 
ing achievement. He would ride to Washington and assassinate the Presi- 
dent. With thirty followers, disguised in blue uniforms as the Fourth 
Missouri Cavalry, and with forged papers of identification in his pocket, 
Quantrill mounted his horse Charley and rode east. 



Price's retreat in 1864 ended organized Confederate resistance west of 
the Missouri, but bushwhacking continued almost as vigorously as ever 
until the end of the war. Then some of the freebooters enlisted in the 
Federal Army to escape prosecution. Others emigrated to the Western 
frontier, where they used the old pattern of riding and robbing, in new 
surroundings. Back in Missouri, the last of them disappeared when Jesse 
James was killed in St. Joseph on April 3, 1882. In the same year, his 
brother Frank gave himself up to Governor Thomas Crittenden, who as 
a colonel had led the charge up the hollow from Byram's Ford. Frank 
handed his gun and his belt to the governor, saying that he had taken it 
in fair fight at Centralia and had never since been parted from it. 

Quantrill's march east to assassinate Lincoln ended in his own death. 
The guerrillas succeeded remarkably in their disguise as Federal cavalry. 
They were entertained at farmhouses, and Quantrill wrote sentimental 
stanzas in the memory book of at least one admiring damsel. In April 
1865, news of Lincoln's assassination obliged them to abandon their mis- 
sion. The thwarted guerrillas celebrated with a drinking spree: "Here's 
to the death of Abraham Lincoln, hoping his bones may serve in hell as a 
gridiron to fry Yankees on." Shortly thereafter, Quantrill's horse, Charley, 
was injured while being shod. His master pronounced the mishap a bad 
omen and, true to his premonition, Quantrill was fatally wounded on 
May 10, in a skirmish with Federals in Spencer County, Kentucky, fifty 
miles southeast of Louisville. For twenty days he tossed on a hospital 
bed, babbling about women. Kate Clarke inherited his property of about 
$500 in gold. With this she opened a fancy house in St. Louis. 

General VanDorn did not survive the war. An outraged husband called 


on the general at his headquarters near Spring Hill, Tennessee, on May 8, 
1863. In a solitary interview he shot the commander without alarming the 
sentry outside the building and escaped to the Union Army. 

The surrender of Robert E. Lee at Appomattox on April 9, 1865, was 
protested by the Western forces. They cheered news of Lincoln's assassina- 
tion, as Quantrill's men had done, and urged undefeated partisans to join 
them and continue the war on the plains. The official Confederate guard 
with the bullion train, accompanying Jeff Davis's retreat from Richmond, 
planned to enlist with E. Kirby-Smith in Texas. 

The last Confederate force in the East was surrendered on May 4 in 
Mississippi by General Richard Taylor — son of President Zachary Tay- 
lor. On May 9 Brigadier General M. Jeff Thompson surrendered what was 
left of his brigade after Price's retreat. The Swamp Fox and his men had 
reverted to the bayous during the late winter of 1864-1865. They hid what 
arms and horses they had saved, and relinquished to the government three 
or four hundred dugout canoes. 

E. Kirby-Smith and a few other ranking officers arranged to meet on 
May 13 with the governors of Arkansas, Louisiana, Missouri, and Texas, 
at Marshall, Texas, to draw up provisions for capitulation. The governor 
of Arkansas was too ill to attend personally. "Governor" Reynolds was too 
angry to sign the terms agreed upon. Shelby and a few division and bri- 
gade commanders learned about the plan of surrender and threatened to 
arrest Kirby-Smith unless he promised to continue the war. Kirby-Smith 
relinquished his command to Simon Bolivar Buckner, defender of Vicks- 
burg, but the change did not help the recalcitrant Westerners. On May 26, 
1865, Buckner went to New Orleans and surrendered the entire command 
"on paper" to Major General Peter J. Osterhaus, the Missouri volunteer 
who had shouted commands in German on the way to Wilson's Creek 
only four years ago. 

The next problem was to force the scattered units to come in and lay 
down their arms. Stand Watie, Shelby, Price, Hindman, and other leaders 
still commanded Confederate forces. Stand Watie and a third of his na- 
tion were outlawed by his own people who had renewed their allegiance 
to the United States and appropriated the Confederate faction's planta- 
tions and cattle. Watie's dispossessed mixbloods — men, women, and chil- 
dren — had congregated along the Texas border. From here, when gro- 


ceries ran low, thev had been able to take a slave to town and trade him 
for a wagonland of supplies, but with war's end this purchasing medium 
became worthless. Desperate and disconsolate, Stand Watie surrendered 
to the United States on June 23, 1865 — probably the last Confederate to 

When Shelby learned of Stand Watie's surrender and Buckner's be- 
trayal, he offered his Iron Brigade service in the Mexican civil war — 
although he had not consulted either of the belligerents. Five hundred of 
Shelbv's soldiers elected to remain with him, so the commander asked 
them to vote for the side thev wished to support — the monarchy under 
Maximilian or the democratic form of government under Benito Juarez. 
Believing in race superiority, sympathetic with siaveholding, and hating 
the democratic "Dutch," they voted to support the monarchy. After this 
decision, Shelbv sold the last of his cannon to the Juarez republicans, 
then — before crossing the border to join the monarchists — he assembled 
his men on the Rio Grande near Eagle Pass on July 4, 1865, for a farewell 
ceremony dedicated to his unconquered battle flag. To this ritual came 
Generals Price and Hindman, John B. Magruder, and Missouri's Trusten 
Polk, who had been expelled from the Senate in 1862 as a rebel. With 
ruffling drums, and bugles' thrilling blasts, Shelby's tattered battle flag 
was lowered into the muddy water. 

The recalcitrant Confederates marched to Monterrey, Mexico, where 
they separated — some going to Sonora, some to California, others to 
British Honduras and Brazil. Maximilian refused to enlist Shelby's bri- 
gade as a unit, but he did set aside a plot of land where Confederates 
might homestead. The veterans tried to farm, for a season, but they 
dreamed always of past battles and read in imported newspapers the ac- 
counts of reconstruction in their native states. 

Within a year Hindman was back in Arkansas. The girl-wife he had 
taken from the convent school insisted on rearing her children in the 
United States. At his old home, a personal enemy shot him one night from 
outside a window. Realizing that the wound was fatal, Hindman limped 
on his high-heeled boot to the front gallery, delivered a speech to the crowd 
congregating below, forgave his enemies, and asked forgiveness for his 
own sins. Staggering back into the house, he kissed his wife and four 


small children, then sank into a chair and died. The fashionable little 
egotist was master of his destiny to the end — almost. 

Pap Price also returned to the United States within a year. An old man 
now at fifty-five, broken in spirit and health, he died shortly after his re- 
turn. Shelby followed him to Missouri, living quietly near his old home 
until the Democrats became respectable under President Cleveland in 
1893. Then he was appointed United States marshal for the western dis- 
trict of Missouri. People looked at the quiet little gray-haired man and 
marveled that he had ever been a border fireball. 

During the first summer after the war, Wild Bill Hickok performed a 
daring feat which, with the McCanles gang killing, established him as a 
notorious Western gunman. In southwest Missouri, he quarreled with 
his old friend Dave Tutt, who threatened to shoot him at sight when next 
he came to Springfield. Wild Bill's position in the community demanded 
that he accept this challenge. Soon afterward, while walking from the 
livery barn along one side of the courthouse square, where Lyon had 
ridden his gray stallion and Zagoni had mustered the survivors of his 
Balaclava charge, Bill spied Tutt coming toward him. Citizens edged back 
out of the line of fire. Wild Bill and Tutt both shot. Tutt pitched forward 
on his face. Hickok gave himself up to the sheriff and, in his trial, was 
successfully defended by the prominent congressman, general, and Civil 
War governor of Arkansas, John S. Phelps. 

The end of the war brought the end of Thomas Ewing's residence on 
the Western border. Rock-bound Republican Kansas promised him little. 
Back in Ohio his father's name was magic. But in the years to come, re- 
actionary Democrats could never forgive young Ewing for Order Number 
Eleven. Radical Republicans deemed him guilty by association for defend- 
ing, before a military commission in Washington, Samuel Mudd — the 
doctor who set fugitive John Wilkes Booth's broken leg. Eventually Ewing 
was elected to Congress from Ohio, but he failed in a gubernatorial cam- 
paign, and he never achieved his ambition to be United States senator. 

The notorious Milt McGee, who had openly associated with the most 
radical proslavery groups during the Kansas territorial days, became mayor 
of Kansas City — where someone probably helped him with his spelling. 
Dr. James Blunt never returned to the practice of medicine. With advanc- 


ing age he became more belligerent and independent — so much so that 
he was eventually confined in an asylum for the mentally ill. Preston 
Plumb, the Good Bishop, became a United States senator, being elected 
three times to that office from Kansas. Bottle-nosed Totten was dismissed 
from the army during Grant's administration for excessive drinking. The 
old artilleryman wrote Grant that, of all men, he should overlook such an 

Dan Anthony continued his violent journalistic career into his late sev- 
enties. To the end, he prided himself on doing and saying what his con- 
science dictated. He advocated the impeachment of Andrew Johnson and 
made the telegraph wires smoke with the heat of his imprecations against 
Kansas politicians who would vote for acquittal. In 1875 he was shot by 
W. W. Embry of the Leavenworth Appeal. Seven doctors, including two 
from Fort Leavenworth, treated his wound. His sister, Susan B. Anthony, 
now embarked on her reform crusade, came to nurse him. For over a 
month it was necessary for someone to hold a finger on the artery over his 
collarbone to regulate the proper flow of blood. Susan took her place with 
the others in this delicate performance, and Dan Anthony's life was saved. 
Veteran newspapermen in Leavenworth remembered how the convales- 
cent tetrarch ordered a Salvation Army band away from the front of his 
office building. When the musicians moved only a few doors down the 
street, the old man strode out from his editorial desk, kicked a hole in the 
bass drum, and limped back minus a boot. His missing footgear had 
stuck in the punctured drumhead. On his deathbed, in 1904, the eighty- 
year-old Dan Anthony was asked if he would lead a different life, could 
he live it again. "Yes," the bearded patriarch replied from his pillows. 
"Next time I'd be more positive." 

Ex-Senator David Rice Atchison, the self-styled Kickapoo Ranger, spent 
the war years namelessly in Texas. After the surrender he came back to 
his Missouri plantation a disillusioned man. The phantom world of great 
slave owners, rural aristocrats, and bombastic hustings oratory at Lige 
Green's country tavern had disappeared forever. Atchison took no more 
part in politics, nor would he discuss Kansas affairs with callers. When his 
pillared mansion burned down in 1870, he replaced it with — of all things 
— a New England farmhouse. Kate Chase, the fading beauty of a faded 
era, came to his farm for a story which, in her straitened circumstances, 


she hoped to sell. Elderly David Atchison was hoeing his garden. Flushed 
and a little breathless from the exertion, he came in the house. Kate re- 
ported him drunk as usual — a pale ghost's last scratch at a specter, to at- 
tract an audience that no longer cared. 

Jim Lane, most picturesque of all the vivid characters in the border war, 
survived the peace only a little more than a year. After a lifetime of 
demagoguery, the Grim Chieftain insisted on supporting Andrew John- 
son's veto of the radicals' Civil Rights bill. Thus the rabble rouser aligned 
himself with the moderates in reconstruction. Perhaps he had been with 
them always except in his wild talk. But when he came back to Kansas, 
he failed to interest the mob in his temperate program, and the radical 
political machine turned against him. Lane's day had passed, a limit had 
come to the demigod's fleeting period of power. The Grim Chieftain lost 
self-confidence, lapsed into despondency, and shot himself in the head. 
For ten days he survived this wound, but on July n, 1866, he died. His 
fellow Kansan, Noble Prentis, wrote: "The scheming brain worked and 
suffered no more; there was an end of plots and plans; a last farewell to 
all that men strive for to find ruin in the gaining." 


The order for which the references are given for each page or group 
of pages is determined by the first use of each reference wor\ in 
that particular section of the text, 


A Challenge Accepted 

3-4 Frederick Trevor Hill, Lincoln the Lawyer, p. 264. History of 

Buchanan County, Missouri, pp. 234-238. Chicago Tribune, Febru- 
ary 1, 1887. George Fort Milton, The Eve of Conflict, p. 102. Mrs. 
Archibald Dixon, The True History of the Missouri Compromise , 
p. 458. 

5-6 Charles F. Horner, The Life of fames Redpath, p. 74. John Bach 

McMaster, A History, of the People of the United States, VIII, 
pp. 201, 215. St. Louis Daily Missouri Republican, May 10, 1853. 
St. Joseph Weekly Commercial Cycle, March 24, April 14, 1854. 
Daniel W. Wilder, The Annals of Kansas (1886 edition), p. 47. St. 
Louis Reveille, May 26, 1848. Many societies are listed by William H. 
Carruth, "The New England Emigrant Aid Company as an Invest- 
ment Society," p. 96. See also Edward Everett Hale, Kansas and 
Nebraska, p. 230. Franklin P. Rice, "The Life of Eli Thayer" (Ms.), 
XXII, pp. 11, 14. Frank W. Blackmar, The Life of Charles Robin- 
son, p. 102. 

7 Rice, "Life of Eli Thayer," XIV, p. 6. Samuel A. Johnson, "The 

Genesis of the New England Emigrant Aid Company," p. 95. Al- 
bert D. Richardson, Garnered Sheaves, p. 138. St. Joseph Gazette, 
July 5, 1854. Report of the Special Committee Appointed to Investi- 
gate the Troubles in Kansas, p. 3. Benjamin H. Hibbard, A History 
of the Public Land Policies, p. 208. Richard Walsh, The Maying of 
Buffalo Bill, pp. 27-28. Daniel Leasure, "Personal Observations," 
p. 143. Report of the Special Committee, p. 355. Interview with Mrs 

354 NOTES 

John Brown in Atchison. [John McNamara], Three Years on the 
Kansas Border, p. 138. Kansas City was first called City of Kansas. 

8-9 Elijah Milton McGee, autobiography (Ms.). Daily Kansas City 

Journal of Commerce, February n, 1873. William H. Miller, History 
of Kansas City, p. 51. Westport Border Times, April 5, 1856. Wilbur 
Cortez Abbott, "Political Warfare in Early Kansas," p. 628. Louise 
Barry, "The Emigrant Aid Company Parties of 1854," p. 118. Law- 
rence Herald of Freedom, February 28, 1857. Elizabeth Cady Stan- 
ton, Eighty Years and More, p. 158. Charles Robinson, The Kansas 
Conflict, p. 69. Rice, "The Life of Eli Thayer," IX, p. 19; XII, p. 3. 
St. Joseph Gazette, April 26, 1854. St. Joseph Weekly Commercial 
Cycle, January 20, February 10, 1854. 

10-12 Boston Advertiser, September 16, in Kansas Territory, Clippings, 

I, p. 16. [Hanna Anderson Ropes] Six Months in Kansas, p. 145. 
Frank W. Blackmar, " The Annals of an Historic Town," p. 485. 
Eli Thayer, A History of the Kansas Crusade, p. 165. Barry, " Emi- 
grant Aid Company Parties," p. 128. On p. 116, Barry corrects an 
earlier statement in Leverett W. Spring, Kansas: the Prelude to the 
War for the Union, p. 32, that five companies came, totaling 750. 
Elmer LeRoy Craik, "Southern Interest in Territorial Kansas, 1854- 
1858," p. 388. 

13 United States Biographical Dictionary, Kansas Volume, p. 621. 
Spring, Kansas, p. 37. Roy F. Nichols, Fran\lin Pierce, p. 407. 
[Ropes], Six Months in Kansas, p. 54. Henry Shindler, "The First 
Capital of Kansas," p. 333. Blackmar, Life of Robinson, p. 125. 
Charles Robinson, "Address," p. 117. George W. Martin, "The First 
Two Years of Kansas," p. 128. 

14 Charles Sumner, Kansas Affairs, p. 12. Report of Special Com- 
mittee, p. 8. Blackmar, Life of Robinson, p. 125. Spring, Kansas, 
pp. 27, 41. William E. Connelley, "First Homicide of the Territorial 
Troubles in Kansas" (Ms.). John J. Ingalls, "First Homicide" 
(Ms.). Hugh Fisher, The Gun and the Gospel, p. 30. Martin, "First 
Two Years," p. 129. John Speer, Life of James H. Lane, p. 14. [Mc- 
Namara], Three Years, pp. 32-35. St. Joseph Gazette, September 20, 
1854. Daniel R. Goodloe, "Is it Expedient to Introduce Slavery into 
Kansas." Benjamin F. Stringfellow, Negro-Slavery, No Evil, passim. 

15 R. H. Williams, With the Border Ruffians, pp. 65, 69-70. Rich- 
ardson, Garnered Sheaves, p. 139. New Yor\ Tribune, July 3, 1855. 

notes 355 

Blackmar, "Annals," p. 490, and Life of Robinson, p. 103. Carruth, 
"New England Emigrant Aid Company," p. 94. Oliver Johnson, 
The Abolitionists Vindicated, p. 15. Samuel A. Johnson, "The Gene- 
sis of the New England Emigrant Aid Company," p. 95. Sumner, 
Kansas Affairs, p. 19. Rice, "Life of Eli Thayer," XIII, p. 11. 


It Looks Very Much Like War: 1855 

16-17 R° v P- Basler, ed., The Collected Worths of Abraham Lincoln, IV, 

p. 131. William H. Miller, History of Kansas City, p. 55. St. Louis 
Daily Missouri Republican, May 10, 1855. William A. Phillips, 
"Kansas History," p. 355. William Lawrence, Life of Amos A. Law- 
rence, pp. 89-91. R. G. Elliott, "The Twenty-first of May," p. 523 fn. 
Report of the Special Committee Appointed to Investigate the Trou- 
bles in Kansas, p. 836. 

18-19 Leverett W. Spring, Kansas, pp. 24, 44. George W. Martin, "First 

Two Years of Kansas," pp. 126, 127, 133. John H. Gihon, Geary and 
Kansas, p. 34. James C. Malin, "The Proslavery Background of the 
Kansas Struggle," p. 300. Charles H. Ambler, ed., Correspondence 
of Robert M. T. Hunter, p. 161. Richard Walsh, Making of Buffalo 
Bill, p. 34. David Y. Thomas, Arkansas in War and Reconstruction, 
p. 196. Charles Robinson, "Address," p. 118. William P. Borland, 
"General Jo. O. Shelby," p. 18. Report of Special Committee, pp. 10, 
13, 140, 178. Mortimer R. Flint, "The War on the Border," p. 401. 
Thomas Shackelford, "Early Recollections of Missouri," p. 3. 
Frank W. Blackmar, "Annals of an Historic Town," p. 128. 

20 Report of Special Committee, p. 186. Frank W. Blackmar, Life of 
Charles Robinson, pp. 132, 146. Martin, "First Two Years," p. 131. 
William A. Phillips, The Conquest of Kansas, p. 87. Daily Missouri 
Republican, May 9, 1855. George W. Martin, "Early Days in Kan- 
sas," p. 137. William E. Connelley, The Life of Preston B. Plumb, 
p. 23, quotes Marcus Parrott as saying that eighteen of the nineteen 
districts were overrun. The Report of the Special Committee cites 
obvious frauds in all districts except 9, 10, 12, and 17. William H. 
Smith, A Political History of Slavery, p. 187. Spring, Kansas, p. 45. 
Robinson, "Address," p. 118. 

21 W. H. Isley, "Sharps Rifle Episode in Kansas History," pp. 554- 
555. Winston O. Smith, The Sharps Rifle, pp. n-12. Spring, Kan- 
sas, pp. 40, 60. Daily Missouri Republican, July 3, 1855, gives details 

35^ NOTES 

of the encounter. John McNamara, Three Years on the Kansas 
Border, p. 138, scoffs at the idea of B. F. Stringfellow's fighting. 
James R. Mead, "The Saline River Country in 1859," p. 10. Roy F. 
Nichols, Franklin Pierce, pp. 402-405. 

22-24 Washington Sentinel, May 29, 1855. Lawrence Herald of Free- 

dom, July 28, 1855. Report of Special Committee, p. 899. Nichols, 
Pierce, pp. 400, 415. Charles F. Horner, The Life of James Redpath, 
p. 106. Leverett W. Spring, "The Career of a Kansas Politician," 
p. 80. Noble L. Prentis, Kansas Miscellanies, pp. 108, no. Kansas 
Scrapbook, Biography, IV, p. 302. 

25-26 Lawrence Herald of Freedom, July 21, 1855. Thomas L. Snead, The 
Fight for Missouri, p. 121. Lemuel Knapp, "Kansas Experiences," 
p. 207. Spring, Kansas, p. 62. George W. Martin, "The Territorial 
and Military Combine at Fort Riley," p. 368. Washington, D.C., Na- 
tional Intelligencer, July 31, 1856. Jefferson Examiner, November 15, 
1856. Kansas Scrapbook, Biography, IV, p. 92. Court records of the 
divorce complaint were printed in the Lecompton Union, August 30, 
1856. "Governor Reeder's Administration," p. 191. 

27 Smith, Political History, p. 187. Daily Missouri Republican, Oc- 

tober 15, 1855. New Yor\ Times, August n, 1855. Martin, "Terri- 
torial and Military," p. 371. Henry Shindler, "The First Capital of 
Kansas," p. 333. Theodore Weichselbaum, "Statement," p. 568. Per- 
cival G. Lowe, Five Years a Dragoon, p. 188, states that the first man 
died of cholera toward the end of the month, so this disease may 
have had little effect on the hasty removal of the capital. William A. 
Hammond, Personal Recollections of General Nathaniel Lyon, 
p. 191. Blackmar, Life of Robinson, p. 133. Spring, Kansas, p. 62. 
R. G. Elliott, "The Big Springs Convention," p. 365. Blackmar, Life 
of Robinson, pp. 134-135. Report of Special Committee, p. 140. 

28-30 Shalor W. Eldridge, "Recollections," p. 33, 40. Phillips, Con- 

quest, p. 17. Lawrence, Life of Amos A. Lawrence, pp. 92, 95. 
Nichols, Pierce, p. 418. The Border Ruffian Code in Kansas. Smith, 
Political History, pp. 187-188. Blackmar, Life of Robinson, pp. 133, 

31 Daily Missouri Republican, December n, 1855. Blackmar, Life of 

Robinson, p. 276. William E. Connelley, James Henry Lane, p. 50. 
Spring, "Career," p. 83. Allan Nevins, Ordeal of the Union, II, 

notes 357 

p. 390. Smith, Political History, p. 190. George D. Brewerton, The 
War in Kansas, p. 135. [Hanna A. Ropes], Six Months in Kansas, 
p. 140. Spring, Kansas, p. 82. "Documentary History of Kansas," 
p. 234. 

32-33 Albert G. Brackett, History of the United States Cavalry, p. 168. 

Elliott, "Big Springs Convention," p. 375. Lawrence, Life of Amos A. 
Lawrence, p. 100. Connelley, fames Henry Lane, p. 59. John Speer, 
Life of James H. Lane, p. 47. George W. Martin, "A Chapter from 
the Archives," p. 362, summarizes the issuance of Topeka scrip. 
White Cloud Chief, September 8, 1864. Charles Robinson, "Topeka 
and Her Constitution," p. 296, and The Kansas Conflict, pp. 177- 
179. Wendell H. Stephenson, The Political Career of General 
James H. Lane, p. 52 fn. 


The Wakarusa War 

34 John Speer, Life of James H. Lane, p. 48. Leverett W. Spring, 

Kansas, pp. 70, 83. The proceedings of the constitutional conven- 
tion were printed in Report of the Special Committee, pp. 608- 
640. New Yor\ Herald, January 21, 1856. Leavenworth Herald, 
October 25, 1855, quoted by George W. Martin in "The First Two 
Years of Kansas," p. 135. Frank W. Blackmar, Life of Charles Rob- 
inson, p. 138. William H. Smith, A Political History of Slavery, 
p. 190. 

35-36 Walter L. Fleming, "The Buford Expedition to Kansas," pp. 

39-40. Washington Sentinel, November 10, 1855. John G. Haskell, 
"The Passing of Slavery in Western Missouri," p. 37 fn. Fort Smith 
New Era, February 4, 1856. Kansas Territory, Clippings, I, p. 294. 
Spring, Kansas, p. 85. Report of Special Committee, pp. 1040-1121. 
Blackmar, Life of Robinson, p. 139. Richard J. Hinton, "Pens That 
Made Kansas Free," p. 375. 

37-38 George D. Brewerton, The War in Kansas, p. 159. John H. Gihon, 

Geary and Kansas, p. 90. Spring, Kansas, p. 91, states that fifty men 
responded. Brewerton, War in Kansas, p. 162, states that Shannon 
estimated two to three hundred answered the call. Evidently the 
governor considered the Missourians legitimate Kansans. "Docu- 
mentary History of Kansas," p. 243. Galusha Anderson, The Story 
of a Border City, p. 124. Moses Harris, "The Old Army," p. 336. 

358 NOTES 

R. S. Bevier, History of the First and Second Missouri Confederate 
Brigades, p. 278. St. Louis Daily Missouri Republican, July 18, 1885. 
Susan A. A. McCausland, "The Battle of Lexington as Seen by a 
Woman," p. 128. James C. Malin, "Proslavery Background of the 
Kansas Struggle," p. 300. 

39-40 Atlas & Daily Bee, October 2 and 24, 1859, in Webb Scrapbook. 

Spring, Kansas, p. 92. [Hanna Anderson Ropes], Six Months in 
Kansas, p. 131. Speer, Life of Lane, p. 53. George W. Brown, Rem- 
iniscences of Gov. R. J. Walter, p. 7. Charles L. Chandler, ed., "Two 
Letters from Kansas, 1 855-1856," pp. 77-78. Sara Robinson, "The 
Wakarusa War," p. 469. Charles Howard Dickson, "The 'Boy's' 
Story," p. 84. Leverett W. Spring, "Career of a Kansas Politician," 
p. 86. 

41-42 Spring, Kansas, pp. 96, 97. Bevier, History of the First and Second 

Missouri, p. 278. Report of Special Committee, p. 1123. Brewerton, 
War in Kansas, pp. 135, 142. [Ropes], Six Months, p. 135. Daily 
Missouri Republican, December 6, 1855. William R. Bernard, "West- 
port and the Santa Fe Trade," p. 565. Sara Robinson, "Wakarusa 
War," pp. 468-469. Charles Robinson, "Address," pp. 1 19-120. 

43 Speer, Life of Lane, pp. 62-64, 66. [Ropes], Six Months, p. 140. 

Spring, Kansas, pp. 71, 101. James C. Malin, John Brown and the 
Legend of Fifty-Six, p. 15. Atlas & Daily Bee, October 2, 1859, in 
Webb Scrapbook. Charles Sumner, Kansas Affairs, p. 10. 


The Crime Against Kansas 

45 Don E. E. Braman, Braman's Information about Texas, p. 69. 

James R. Mead, "The Saline River Country in 1859," p. 10. Wil- 
liam A. Hammond, Personal Recollections of General Nathaniel 
Lyon, p. 14. Percival G. Lowe, Five Years a Dragoon, p. 222. Sam- 
uel A. Drake, "The Old Army in Kansas," p. 149. Moses Harris, 
"The Old Army," p. 337. 

47 George D. Brewerton, War in Kansas, p. 391. G. Raymond Gaed- 

dert, "First Newspapers in Kansas Counties," pp. 4-10. Noble L. 
Prentis, "Kansas Journalism — the Men of 57," pp. 93-98. Shalor W. 
Eldridge, "Recollections of Early Days," p. 51. George W. Martin, 
"First Two Years of Kansas," p. 136. John Speer, Life of fames H. 

NOTES 359 

Lane, p. 73. Leverett W. Spring, Kansas, p. 72. Charles Sumner also 
referred to this in Kansas Affairs. Blackmar, Life of Charles Robin^ 
son, p. 194. Roy F. Nichols, Fran\lin Pierce, p. 444. 

48 Amos Townsend, "With the Kansas Congressional Committee of 
1856," pp. 490, 492. John Sherman, Recollections, I, p. 126. 

49 William H. Miller, History of Kansas City, pp. 60-61. Evangeline 
Thomas, Nativism in the Old Northwest, pp. 154-155. Theo. S. 
Case, ed., History of Kansas City, p. 54. West fort Border Times, 
April 5, 12, 1856. Eldridge, "Recollections," p. 33. Walter L. Flem- 
ing, "Buford Expedition to Kansas," pp. 39, 42. Harold E. Briggs, 
"Lawlessness in Cairo, Illinois," p. 72. John G. Haskell, "Passing of 
Slavery in Western Missouri," p. 37. 

50 Wheeling Daily Times, April 25, 1856, in Webb Scrapbook, XI, 
p. 163. Spring, Kansas, pp. 40, 115. Westport Border Times, April 5, 

1856. Fleming, "Buford Expedition," p. 44. William E. Connelley, 
Life of Preston B. Plumb, p. 32. Lawrence Herald of Freedom, 
April 12, 1856. Sherman, Recollections, I, p. 129. 

51-52 Blackmar, Life of Robinson, p. 202. Spring, Kansas, pp. 109, in, 

116. Eldridge, "Recollections," p. 35. Kansas in 1856. An Authentic 
Account, pp. 1, 3. Andrew H. Reeder, "Governor Reeder's Escape," 
p. 207. Speer, Life of Lane, pp. 78-79. Kansas Scrapbook, Biography, 
III, May 4, 1863. R. G. Elliott, "The Twenty-first of May," p. 528, 
lists another man who may have fired the shot. "Governor Geary's 
Administration," p. 392. Sherman, Recollections, p. 130. 

53-54 Reeder, "Governor Reeder's Escape," p. 209. Martin, "First Two 

Years," p. 139. Eldridge, "Recollections," p. 39. Chicago Tribune, 
May 22, 1856. Nichols, Pierce, p. 465. George Fort Milton, Eve of 
Conflict, p. 232. Sumner, Kansas Affairs, pp. 8-1 1. Edward L. 
Pierce, Memoir and Letters of Charles Sumner, III, p. 446. 

55-56 Milton, Eve of Conflict, p. 234. Pierce, Memoir, III, pp. 453, 471. 

Charles Robinson, "Address," p. 121. Herald of Freedom, May 12, 

1857. Eldridge, "Recollections," p. 50. "Governor Geary's Admin- 
istration," p. 415. Kansas in 1856, p. 8. Spring, Kansas, pp. 121-122. 

57~59 [A. T. Andreas], History of the State of Kansas, p. 129. Eldridge, 

"Recollections," pp. 49, 52-55. "Governor Geary's Administration," 
p. 400. Herald of Freedom, November 14, 1857. Frank W. Black- 

360 NOTES 

mar, Kansas: A Cyclopedia, II, p. 89. Case, History of Kansas City, 
pp. 52-53. Richard L. Douglas, "History of Manufactures in the 
Kansas District," p. 93 fn. Walter B. Stevens, Missouri, the Center 
State, I, p. 889. Fleming, "Buford Expedition," pp. 44-45. Kansas in 
1856, pp. 8, 9. Elliott, "Twenty-first of May," p. 529 fn. Webb Scrap- 
book, XIII, pp. 91, 200. Thomas H. Gladstone, The Englishman in 
Kansas, p. 39. "Governor Geary's Administration," p. 399. 


I Went to Take Old Brown and Old Brown Took Me 

60-61 Daniel Geary, "Looking Backward," p. 224. James C. Malin, John 

Brown, p. 60. Shalor W. Eldridge, "Recollections," pp. 41-42. An- 
drew H. Reeder, "Escape from Kansas," p. 219. Francis M. I. More- 
house, The Life of Jesse W. Fell, p. 55. Report of the Select Commit- 
tee . . . to Inquire into the Late Invasion . . . at Harper's Ferry, 
p. 76. Kansas in 1856, p. 11. Franklin Benjamin Sanborn, The Life 
and Letters of John Brown, p. 268. 

62 Leverett W. Spring, Kansas, p. 143. August Bondi, "With John 
Brown in Kansas," p. 280. Malin, John Brown, p. 27. George W. 
Martin, "First Two Years of Kansas," pp. 140-141. Hill P. Wilson, 
John Brown, p. 99. 

63 Spring, Kansas, pp. 139, 152-154. Huntsville, Missouri, Randolph 
Citizen, November 20, 1856. William P. Tomlinson, Kansas in 
Eighteen Fifty-Eight, p. 23. "Governor Geary's Administration," 
p. 387. Malin, John Brown, p. 589. Henry H. Crittenden, Memoirs, 
p. 240. Bondi, "With John Brown," p. 288. Lloyd Lewis, "Propa- 
ganda and the Kansas-Missouri War," p. 17. 

64 Leavenworth Daily Tribune, June 7, 1879. [A. T. Andreas], His- 
tory of the State of Kansas, p. 141. "Correspondence of Governor 
Shannon," p. 388. Spring, Kansas, pp. 158, 161, 180. "Correspondence 
of Governor Geary," pp. 442-443. Crittenden, Memoirs, p. 240. 
Walter L. Fleming, "Buford Expedition to Kansas," p. 47. G. W. E. 
Griffith, "The Battle of Black Jack," p. 525. 

65-66 Chicago Daily Democratic Press, July 3, 1856. Webb Scrapbook, 

XIII, p. 216. William E. Connelley, Life of Preston B. Plumb, pp. 
25, 27, 30, 37. Elmer LeRoy Craik, "Southern Interest in Territorial 
Kansas," p. 360. Winston O. Smith, The Sharps Rifle, p. 15. Inter- 
view with Mrs. J. H. Stallard, St. Joseph, Mo. R. H. Williams, With 

NOTES 361 

the Border Ruffians, pp. 73, 83, 84. Cyrus K. Holliday, "The Presi- 
dential Campaign of 1856," p. 50. Robert Morrow, "Emigration to 
Kansas in 1856/' p. 304 fn. Washington, D.C., National Intelligencer, 
July 17, 1856. John H. Gihon, Geary, p. 181. Charles Robinson, 
"Address," p. 122. Frank W. Blackmar, Life of Charles Robinson, 
P- 324- 

67-68 Chicago Tribune, July 15, 1856. Webb Scrapbook, XV, p. 2. 

Franklin G. Adams, "The Capitals of Kansas," p. 346. fn. 


Lane's Army of the North 

69-70 Chicago Daily Democratic Press, June 2, 1856. William E. Con- 

nelley, "Daniel W. Wilder," p. 14. [A. T. Andreas], History of the 
State of Kansas, p. 136. John Speer, Life of fames H. Lane, pp. 105, 

71 The Border Ruffian Code in Kansas. New Yor\ Times, July 4, 

1856. James R. Mead, "The Saline River Country in 1859," p. 9. 
Leverett W. Spring, Kansas, pp. 165, 169. Speer, Life of Lane, p. 102. 
Washington, D.C., National Intelligencer, August 9, 1856. [An- 
dreas], History of the State of Kansas, p. 141. William E. Connel- 
ley, "Col. Richard J. Hinton," p. 489. St. Louis Daily Missouri Re- 
publican, July 26, 1856. William E. Connelley, Life of Preston B. 
Plumb, p. 39. 

72-74 Connelley, Life of Plumb, pp. 38, 39. Charles S. Gleed, "Samuel 

Walker," pp. 260, 266-268. Kansas City Journal, September 7, 1879. 
United States Biographical Dictionary, Kansas Volume, pp. 183-184. 
Albert D. Richardson, Beyond the Mississippi, pp. 44, 46, 49. Spring, 
Kansas, pp. 170, 179, 181. Kansas City Journal, September 7, 1879. 
V. E. Gibbons, ed., "Letters on the War," p. 374. James C. Malin, 
"Colonel Harvey," p. 59. Speer, Life of Lane, p. 114. 

75-76 Gibbons, "Letters," pp. 374, 375. George R. Gibson, Journal of a 

Soldier, p. 351. Susan A. A. McCausland, "Battle of Lexington," p. 
128. Connelley, Life of Plumb, p. 38. Richard B. Foster, "Statement," 
p. 227. Malin, "Colonel Harvey," pp. 60, 61 fn. Frank W. Black- 
mar, Life of Charles Robinson, pp. 324, 369. Spring, Kansas, p. 182. 
"Capture of Col. Titus," p. 228. Speer, Life of Lane, p. 115. 

3^2 NOTES 

yy "Capture of Titus," p. 228. Gibbons, "Letters," pp. 376-377. Con- 

nelley, Life of Plumb, p. 40. Gleed, "Samuel Walker," pp. 270, 272. 
Spring, Kansas, pp. 183, 184. Malin, "Colonel Harvey," p. 61. Foster, 
"Statement," pp. 226-227. 

78-79 "Capture of Titus," p. 228. Spring, Kansas, pp. 186, 188. "Corre- 

spondence of Governor Geary," pp. 403, 471. Chicago Tribune, Au- 
gust 20, September 19, 1856. Connelley, Life of Plumb, p. 41. Wash- 
ington, D.C., Daily National Era, October 9, 1856. Charles Robinson, 
"Address," p. 123. 

80 Roy F. Nichols, Fran\lin Pierce, pp. 479-480. W. Z. Hickman, 

History of ]ac\son County, p. 168. William H. Miller, History of 
Kansas City, p. 61. William M. Johnson Papers. Theo. S. Case, ed., 
History of Kansas City, p. 66. Lawrence Kansas Daily Tribune, 
June 7, 1879. Connelley, Life of Plumb, pp. 41, 83. 

81-82 Spring, Kansas, pp. 238, 241. Kansas City Star, August 8, 1945. 

The number of casualties at Osawatomie is uncertain. Note Spring, 
Kansas, p. 190, and J. F. Snyder, "Battle of Osawatomie," p. 84. 
William E. Connelley, Wild Bill and His Era, p. 17. Gibbons, "Let- 
ters," p. 378. 

83-84 Speer, Life of Lane, pp. 115, 121. Connelley, Wild Bill, p. 17. 

Gleed, "Samuel Walker," p. 274. "Correspondence of Geary," p. 487. 
Spring, Kansas, p. 192. Gibbons, "Letters," p. 378. 


Geary Takes Command 

85 "Correspondence of Governor Geary," p. 486. Charles Robinson, 
"Address," p. 123. Leverett W. Spring, Kansas, pp. 188, 197. Charles 
Robinson, Kansas Conflict, p. 321. Robinson, "Address," p. 123. 
Extract from Geary City Era, August 1, 1857, in Kansas Historical 
Quarterly, VI, No. 2 (May 1937), p. 200. Percival G. Lowe, Five 
Years a Dragoon, p. 239. 

86 James C. Malin, "Colonel Harvey and His Forty Thieves," p. 65. 
Frank W. Blackmar, Life of Charles Robinson, p. 207. " Executive 
Minutes of Governor John W. Geary," pp. 522, 526, 559, 565. 
Spring, Kansas, p. 195. Elmer LeRoy Craik, "Southern Interest in 
Territorial Kansas," p. 424. Spring, Kansas, p. 208. Robinson, "Ad- 
dress," p. 124. 

NOTES 3 6} 

87 Brinton W. Woodward, "Reminiscences of September 14, 1856," 

p. 79. Spring, Kansas, p. 199. John Speer, Life of James H. Lane, 
p. 125. Charles S. Gleed, "Samuel Walker," p. 273. "Governor 
Geary's Administration," p. 479. Woodward, " Reminiscences," p. 78. 
St. Louis Daily Missouri Republican, July 3, 1856. 

88-89 Blackmar, Life of Robinson, p. 207. George W. Martin, "First 

Two Years of Kansas," p. 144. "Executive Minutes," p. 533. [A. T. 
Andreas], History of the State of Kansas, pp. 151. Spring, Kansas, 
p. 201. John H. Gihon, Geary and Kansas, p. 167. 

90 Blackmar, Life of Robinson, p. 329. Malin, "Colonel Harvey," 

p. 69. Chicago Tribune, October 7, 1856. St. Louis Daily Missouri 
Republican, October 14, 1856. New Yor\ Tribune, September 22, 23, 
October 7, 1856. Mary T. Higginson, ed., Letters and Journals of 
Thomas Wentworth Higginson, p. 144. Speer, Life of Lane, p. 129. 
Leverett W. Spring, "Career of a Kansas Politician," p. 89. 

91-92 Spring, "Career," p. 89. William E. Connelley, "Col. Richard J. 

Hinton," p. 489. Oswald Garrison Villard, John Brown, 1800-18 59, 
p. 679. Albion W. Tourgee, The Story of a Thousand, p. 33. Chi- 
cago Tribune, September 5, 1856. "Executive Minutes," p. 562. Hig- 
ginson, Letters and Journals, p. 141. William E. Connelley, Life of 
Preston B. Plumb, p. 43. 

93 Frank W. Blackmar, Kansas: A Cyclopedia, II, p. 809. "Executive 

Minutes," p. 601. William E. Connelley, John Brown, p. 306. 
James S. Pike, First Blows of the Civil War, p. 349. Roy F. Nichols, 
Fran\lin Pierce, p. 452. Lawrence Herald of Freedom, December 6, 
1856. Cincinnati Gazette, February 10, 1857. Nathan Parker, Kansas 
and Nebraska Handbook, pp. 1 09-1 10. Noble L. Prentis, Kansas 
Miscellanies, p. 83. Albert D. Richardson, Beyond the Mississippi, 
p. 53. Richardson, Garnered Sheaves, p. 145. George A. Root, ed., 
"Extracts from Diary of Captain Wolf," p. 204. Samuel A. Drake, 
"The Old Army," p. 141. Extract from Doniphan Kansas Crusader 
of Freedom in Kansas Historical Quarterly, VI, No. 2 (May 1927), 
p. 201. 

94-95 Letter from Thomas Ewing, Jr., to "Dearest Ellen," November 13, 

1856, Ewing Papers. Springfield Illinois State Journal, April 23, 
June 6, 1857. Craik, "Southern Interest," p. 392. William H. Miller, 
History of Kansas City, p. 108. Blackmar, Life of Robinson, pp. 213, 
215. Robinson, "Address," pp. 124-126. Richardson, Garnered 
Sheaves, p. 141. 

364 NOTES 


Buchanan Tries His Hand 

96-97 Jay Monaghan, Diplomat in Carpet Slippers, p. 290. Leverett W. 

Spring, Kansas, p. 211. H. Donaldson Jordan, "A Politician of Ex- 
pansion: Robert J. Walker," p. 378. Frank W. Blackmar, Life of 
Charles Robinson, p. 230. "Governor Walker's Administration," 
p. 391. William E. Connelley, James Henry Lane, p. 104. 

98 Spring, Kansas, pp. 218, 220. Albert D. Richardson, Beyond the 
Mississippi, p. 101. John Speer, Life of James H. Lane, p. 141. Law- 
rence Herald of Freedom, October 24, 1857. William E. Connelley, 
Life of Preston B. Plumb, p. 76. 

99 James S. Green, Speech . . . on .the Constitution of Kansas. 
Spring, Kansas, p. 223. Roy F. Nichols, The Disruption of Ameri- 
can Democracy, p. 122. Allan Nevins, The Emergence of Lincoln, I, 
p. 234. Blackmar, Life of Robinson, pp. 232, 254. Leverett W. Spring, 
"Career of a Kansas Politician," p. 91. Connelley, Life of Plumb, 
p. 76. 

100-10 1 James H. Lane, "Report on Trouble in Bourbon County," Kansas 
Territorial Legislature, House Journal, Extra Session, 1858, pp. 
84-85. Connelley, Life of Plumb, pp. 55, 69, 84, 86. Charles Robin- 
son, Kansas Conflict, p. 379. Noble L. Prentis, Kansas Miscellanies, 
p. 85. G. Raymond Gaeddert, "First Newspapers in Kansas Coun- 
ties," p. 10. Charles W. Goodlander, Memoirs and Recollections, 
p. 61. Spring, Kansas, pp. 228, 243. Lawrence Herald of Freedom, 
December 26, 1857. Speer, Life of Lane, p. 175. Spring, "Career," 
p. 92. 

102 Connelley, Life of Plumb, pp. 73-76. Springfield Illinois State 
Journal, February 19, May 7, 1858. Stephen A. Douglas, Report 
. . . on the Kansas-Lecompton Constitution, p. 98. 

103 Goodlander, Memoirs, p. 62. W. A. Mitchell, "Historic Linn," 
pp. 642-643, 645. Joel Moody, "Marais des Cygnes Massacre," p. 209. 
William P. Tomlinson, Kansas in Eighteen Fifty-Eight, pp. 62-63. 
Ed. R. Smith, "Marais des Cygnes Tragedy," p. 368. William E. 
Connelley, John Brown, p. 323. Data on Marais des Cygnes marker, 
Kansas Historical Quarterly, X, No. 4 (November 1941), p. 356. 

NOTES 365 

104 Moody, "Marais des Cygnes Massacre," p. 215. Smith, "Marais des 

Cygnes Tragedy," p. 369. Spring, Kansas, p. 249. Mitchell, "Historic 
Linn," p. 646. Franklin B. Sanborn, "Some Notes," p. 261. A. H. 
Tannar, "Early Days in Kansas," p. 229. Tomlinson, Kansas in 
Eighteen Fifty-Eight, pp. 63, 77, 84. Leavenworth Times, May 29, 

105-106 Kansas City Western Journal of Commerce, May 29, 1858. Rich- 
ardson, Beyond the Mississippi, p. 125. Blackmar, Life of Robinson, 
p. 324. August Bondi, "With John Brown in Kansas," p. 276 fn. 
Correspondence between John Brown and George Stearns, Brown 
Papers. Hildegarde R. Herklotz, "Jayhawkers in Missouri, 1858- 
1863," p. 279. Leavenworth Times, September 4, 11, 18, October 9, 
1858, February 19, 1859. 


He'll Trouble Them More When His Coffin's Nailed Down 

107-108 Albert D. Richardson, Beyond the Mississippi, pp. 113-114. John 
Speer, Life of James H. Lane, pp. 208, 214, 215. Leavenworth Times, 
July 23, 1858. Hugh Fisher, The Gun and the Gospel, p. 36. Lev- 
erett W. Spring, "Career of a Kansas Politician," p. 95. 

109 Jacob Stringfellow, "Jim Lane," p. 767. Kansas Scrapbook, Biog- 

raphy, IV, p. 183a. Letter from Thomas Ewing, Jr., to Ellen, Jan- 
uary 30 [1859], Ewing Papers. LeRoy Hafen, Pi\es Pea\ Gold 
Rush Guidebooks of 1859. 

no A. H. Tannar, "Early Days in Kansas," pp. 230-231. William E. 

Connelley, John Brown, p. 326. George W. Martin, "The First Two 
Years of Kansas," p. 142. Leverett W. Spring, Kansas, pp. 252-256. 
Frank W. Blackmar, Life of Charles Robinson, p. 324. Leavenworth 
Times, January 22, 1859. 

in-112 Leavenworth Times, January 29, February 12, 1859, January 4, 
i860. Jim Beckwourth came thus in i860, Leavenworth Times, 
March 6, i860. G. Raymond Gaeddert, Birth of Kansas, p. 13. Elvid 
Hunt, History of Fort Leavenworth 182J-192J, pp. 97-98. 

113-114 Blackmar, Life of Robinson, p. 248 fn. Martin, "First Two Years," 
p. 145. Richardson, Beyond the Mississippi, pp. 152-153. Oswald 
Garrison Villard, John Brown, p. 459. Richard J. Hinton, John 

$66 NOTES 

Brown and His Men, p. 324. Winston O. Smith, The Sharps Rifle, 
p. 15. 

115-116 Chicago Press and Tribune, October 29, 1859. James S. Pike, First 
Blows of the Civil War, p. 449. Daily Kansas City Journal of Com- 
merce, February 11, 1873. St. Joseph Weekly West, January 7, i860. 
Westport Border Star, December 31, 1858. Kansas City Western 
Journal of Commerce, December 17, 1859. New Yor\ Herald, De- 
cember 6, 1859. Transactions of the Missouri Lodge of Research, III, 
pp. 67, 82. New Yor\ Tribune, May 16, 1859. Charles J. Kappler, 
"Indian Treaties and Councils Affecting Kansas," p. 765. St. Joseph 
Weekly West, November 19, 1859, January 7, 28, April 7, i860. 
Leavenworth Times, March 2, 20, 1862. Villard, John Brown, pp. 
571-575. Franklin B. Sanborn, "Some Notes," p. 261. Letter from 
James McCool to John F. Snyder, n.d., Snyder Papers. The poem 
appears in the Reader diary in May 1860. 

chapter x 
The Election of Abraham Lincoln 

117 Leavenworth Times, March 23, April 14, i860. St. Joseph Weekly 
West, April 7, i860. Kansas Territory, Clippings, II, p. 275. White 
Cloud Chief, June 7, 1858. Franklin B. Sanborn, "Some Notes," 
pp. 261-265. 

118 Letters dated June 11, 15, i860, in John F. Snyder Papers. "Echoes 
of the Republican Convention," p. 151. Virgil C. Blum, "Political 
and Military Activities of the German Element in St. Louis," p. 103. 
Ernest D. Kargan, "Missouri's German Immigration," p. 23. Jay 
Monaghan, The Great Rascal, pp. 195-203. 

119 George S. Grover, "Civil War in Missouri," p. 8. Charles M. Har- 
vey, "Missouri from 1849 to 1861," p. 35. James Peckham, Gen. 
Nathaniel Lyon and Missouri in 1861, pp. xiv, xvii. Letters, June 26, 
28, i860, in Snyder Papers. Also clipping from Chillicothe Chronicle, 
July 19, i860. Blum, "Political and Military Activities," p. in. Ray- 
mond D. Thomas, "A Study in Missouri Politics," p. 167. McCoy 
Scrapbook, II, p. 62. History of Jackson County, p. 466. Leaven- 
worth Times, February 15, i860. Robert J. Rombauer, The Union 
Cause, p. 108. Thomas L. Snead, The Fight for Missouri, p. iii. 

120 Snead, Fight for Missouri, p. 31. An account of the duel between 
Reynolds and Gratz Brown was also printed in the Kansas City 

NOTES 367 

Star, November 21, 1938. S. M. Fox, The Seventh Kansas Cavalry, 
p. 8. Kansas Scrapbook, Biography, IV, p. 269. Letter from McCool 
to Snyder, November 29, i860, Snyder Papers. Kansas City Western 
Journal of Commerce, November 29, December 6, i860. Hilde- 
garde R. Herklotz, "Jayhawkers i n Missouri," p. 506. San Francisco 
Alta California, December 15, i860. Clarksville Standard, Decem- 
ber 22, i860. Van Bur en Press, December 21, i860. The Supreme 
Council, 33 , p. 201. 

121-122 New Yor\ Tribune, March 27, 1862. Jay Monaghan, Great Rascal, 
p. 99. Susan B. Riley, "Life and Works of Albert Pike" (Ph.D. 
thesis). Supreme Council, 53 ° ', p. 240. Kansas City Western Journal 
of Commerce, November 22, December 13, 20, 27, i860. Sanborn, 
"Some Notes," pp. 261-265. William E. Connelley, Quantrill and the 
Border Wars, pp. 140!?. John J. Lutz, "Quantrill and the Morgan 
Walker Tragedy," pp. 324-331. William A. Johnson, "Early Life of 
Quantrill," p. 213. F. P. Blair Papers. 

123 Letter from Lane to Lincoln, January 2, 1861, Lincoln Papers. 
John Speer, Life of James H. Lane, p. 234. Captains George Haz- 
zard and John Pope also accompanied Lincoln to Washington. 

124 Buel Leopard and Floyd C. Shoemaker, eds., The Messages and 
Proclamations of the Governors of the State of Missouri, III, pp. 333— 
334. Letter from John Snyder, July 4, i860, Snyder Papers. Wil- 
liam E. Smith, The Francis Preston Blair Family, pp. 22, 34. Rom- 
bauer, The Union Cause, p. 128. Los Angeles Star, June 7, 1861. Jes- 
sie Benton Fremont, The Story of the Guard, p. 46. L. G. Bennett 
and Wm. M. Haight, History of the Thirty-Sixth . . . Illinois, p. 84. 
George Alfred Townsend, Campaigns of a Non-combatant, p. 232. 
Otto C. Lademann, "The Capture of 'Camp Jackson,' " p. 438. 

125 Snead, Fight for Missouri, pp. 53-57, 59, 124. Lademann, "Cap- 
ture of 'Camp Jackson,' " p. 70. Rombauer, The Union Cause, p. 146. 
M. Jefl. Thompson, "Autobiography" (Ms.), pp. 10 ff. 

126 James O. Broadhead, "Early Events of War in Missouri," p. 2. 
James F. How, "Frank P. Blair in 1861," p. 386. H. C. McDougal, 
"A Decade of Missouri Politics," p. 128. Thomas Shackelford, "Early 
Recollections of Missouri," p. 10. Lawrence Herald of Freedom, 
January 2, 1858. Leavenworth Times, July 2, 9, 1859, March 16, 
April 13, 24, i860. White Cloud Chief, October 27, 1864. 

368 NOTES 

127 Wendell H. Stephenson, The Political Career of General James H. 
Lane, p. 101. Jacob Stringfellow, "Jim Lane," pp. 272, 274. Abridged 
from St. Joseph Morning Herald, February 1889, in Kansas Terri- 
tory, Clippings, I, p. 252. Hugh H. Fisher, The Gun and the Gospel, 
P. 33- 

128 William E. Connelley, James Henry Lane, p. 112. Speer, Life of 
Lane, pp. 233, 238. Leverett W. Spring, Kansas, p. 273. G. Raymond 
Gaeddert, Birth of Kansas, p. 145. "The Frontier Guard," pp. 419- 


Lyon Shows Missouri 

129-130 William E. Smith, The Francis Preston Blair Family, II, p. 36. 
William F. Switzler, Illustrated History of Missouri, p. 347. G. Ray- 
mond Gaeddert, Birth of Kansas, p. 141. Virgil C. Blum, "Political 
and Military Activities of the German Element in St. Louis," pp. 
122, 124. M. Jeff. Thompson, "Autobiography" (Ms.), p. 13. 
Floyd C. Shoemaker, "The Story of the Civil War in Northeast Mis- 
souri," p. 74. Chicago Tribune, April 29, 1861. James Peckham, 
Gen. Nathaniel Lyon, p. 137. 

131 Robert J. Rombauer, The Union Cause in St. Louis, pp. 225- 
226, 231. Switzler, Illustrated History, p. 349. Otto C. Lademann, 
"Capture of 'Camp Jackson,' " p. 71. Peckham, Gen. Nathaniel 
Lyon, p. 150. E. B. Long, ed., Personal Memoirs of U. S. Grant, 
p. 119. 

132 Rombauer, The Union Cause, pp. 230, 234. Mortimer R. Flint, 
"The War on the Border," p. 404. Switzler, Illustrated History, 
p. 354. Lloyd Lewis, Sherman, Fighting Prophet, p. 159. William T. 
Sherman, Memoirs, I, p. 174. Jay Monaghan, The Great Rascal, 
p. 202. Peckham, Gen. Lyon, pp. 157, 165. St. Joseph Morning 
Herald, October 10, 1862. 

133 Switzler, Illustrated History, p. 316. Thompson, "Autobiography," 
p. 15. John McElroy, The Struggle for Missouri, picture, p. 32. 
Thomas L. Snead, "The First Year of the War in Missouri," p. 264. 
Reminiscences of the Women of Missouri, p. 45. 

134 Documents on the Harvey-Jackson agreement are printed in 

NOTES 369 

Switzler, Illustrated History, p. 358. William Hemstreet, "Little 
Things about Big Generals," p. 159. 
135 Rombauer, The Union Cause, p. 262. Thomas L. Snead, Fight for 

Missouri, p. 200. Switzler, Illustrated History, p. 361. Oliver W. 
Nixon, "Reminiscences of the First Year of the War," p. 417. Snead, 
"First Year of the War," p. 267. William H. Tunnard, A Southern 
Record, p. 64. 

136-138 Milo M. Quaife, ed., Absalom Grimes, pp. 4, 17. Long, Personal 
Memoirs, p. 127. Samuel L. Clemens, "The Private History of a 
Campaign that Failed," pp. 235-264. 


Jefferson City, Boonville, and the Happy Land of Canaan 

139-140 Kenneth P. Williams, Lincoln Finds a General, III, p. 413. 
Robert J. Rombauer, The Union Cause in St. Louis, pp. 266, 270. 
John F. Lee, "John Sappington Marmaduke," p. 27. Thomas L. 
Snead, "The Conquest of Arkansas," picture, p. 446. 

141-142 William F. Switzler, Illustrated History of Missouri, p. 363. 
Eugene F. Ware, The Lyon Campaign in Missouri, p. 128. St. 
Louis Daily Missouri Democrat, June 26, 1861. R. I. Holcombe and 
F. W. Adams, An Account of the Battle of Wilson s Cree\, p. 60. 

143-144 Ware, Lyon Campaign, pp. 79, 137, 147, 151, 155, 260, 339. Franc 
Bangs Wilkie, Fen and Powder, pp. 29, 60. John M. Schofield, Forty- 
six Years in the Army, p. 37. Rombauer, The Union Cause, picture, 
p. 320. William E. Woodruff, With the Light Guns, p. 47. 

145-146 Ware, Lyon Campaign, pp. 113-114, 175, 183. Kansas, Report of 
Adjutant General, p. 4. George A. Root, ed., "Extracts from Diary 
of Captain Lambert Bowman Wolf," p. 209. Wilkie, Pen and Pow- 
der, p. 60. New Yor\ Times, December 7, 1861. Samuel J. Crawford, 
Kansas in the Sixties, p. 35. James A. McGonigle, "First Kansas In- 
fantry," p. 292. Seymour D. Thompson, Recollections with the 
Third Iowa, p. 161. 

147-148 W. A. Mitchell, "Historic Linn," p. 634. Kansas, Report of Ad- 
jutant General, p. 76. Ware, Lyon Campaign, pp. 105, 195. 

37° NOTES 


Battle of Carthage 

149 Otto C. Lademann, "Battle of Carthage," p. 134. Eugene F. Ware, 
The Lyon Campaign, p. 336. Thomas W. Sweeney Papers. Sam- 
uel C. Reid, Jr., The Scouting Expeditions of McCulloch's Texas 
Rangers. David Y. Thomas, Arkansas in War and Reconstruction, 
p. 108. New Yo7'\ Times, December 7, 1861. 

150 Letter, Day Elmoore at Rolla, n.d. L. G. Bennett and Wm. M. 
Haight, History of the Thirty-Sixth Illinois, pp. 68-69. Samuel 
Phillips Day, Down South, II, p. 171. Harper's Weekly, Novem- 
ber 30, 1 861. William E. Connelley, Wild Bill, p. 82. Wiley Britton, 
The Civil War on the Border, p. 51. Thomas L. Snead, The Fight 
for Missouri, p. 235. St. Louis Daily Missouri Republican, July 18, 
1 861. Claib Jackson's letters of April were published in the New 
Yor\ Times during the second half of July. 

151-152 Britton, Civil War, pp. 52-53. Snead, The Fight for Missouri, 
p. 218. On p. 237, Snead states that 137 men were captured at 
Neosho. Lademann, "Battle of Carthage," p. 131. John N. Edwards, 
Shelby and His Men, p. 30. Susan A. A. McCausland, "Battle of 
Lexington as Seen by a Woman," p. 128. W. L. Webb, Battles and 
Biographies of Missourians, p. 320. 

153 Snead, The Fight for Missouri, pp. 216-217. Robert J. Rombauer, 

The Union Cause in St. Louis, p. 279. Lademann, "Battle of 
Carthage," p. 134. William M. Wherry, The Campaign in Mis- 
souri, p. 4. 

154-155 Lademann, "Battle of Carthage," pp. 134, 139. Snead, The Fight 
for Missouri, pp. 225, 227. James Peckham, Gen. Nathaniel Lyon, 
p. 295. Joseph A. Mudd, "What I Saw at Wilson's Creek," p. 101. 
William F. Switzler, Illustrated History of Missouri, p. 366. E. S. S. 
Rouse, The Bugle Blast, p. 73. O. R., I, III, p. 18. Wiley Britton, 
Civil War, p. 55. It is noticeable that Lademann does not mention 
the sunken-road incident. 

156 Los Angeles Semi-Weekly Southern News, August 7, 1861. Eli G. 

Foster, The Civil War by Campaigns, p. 58. Rouse, Bugle Blast, 
p. 76. Daily Missouri Republican, July 18, 1861. Snead, The Fight 
for Missouri, p. 238. 

NOTES 371 

157 Sacramento Daily Transcript, September 9, 1850. Cincinnati Com- 
mercial, March 18, 1862. William H. Tunnard, A Southern Record, 
p. 47. Harvey S. Ford, "Van Dorn," p. 223. W. J. Hardee, Rifle and 
Light Infantry Tactics, I, p. 64. Mudd, "What I Saw," p. 95. 

158 Fort Smith Times and Herald, July 15, 1861. A Clarksville Stand- 
ard news note from the Richmond Enquirer, on August 17, 1861, 
states that "game cock Governor" Jackson and Atchison had arrived. 
M. Jeff. Thompson, "Autobiography" (Ms.), pp. 25, 28. Daily Mis- 
souri Republican, July 15, 29, August 26, 1861. 


Born Among the Rocks 

159-160 Eugene F. Ware, The Lyon Campaign, pp. 212, 270. Benjamin D. 
Dean, Recollections of the 26th Missouri, pp. 213-214. James Peck- 
ham, Gen. Nathaniel Lyon, p. 301. John B. Sanborn, "Reminis- 
cences," p. 238. 

161 R. I. Holcombe and F. W. Adams, comps., An Account of the 
Battle of Wilson s Cree\, p. 12. Ware, Lyon Campaign, pp. 171, 244, 
270, 284. Frank Moore, Anecdotes, Poetry and Incidents of the War, 
p. 409. 

162 William H. Tunnard, A Southern Record, pp. 45, 65. New York 
World, August 12, 1861. Ware, Lyon Campaign, pp. 278, 296. 
Robert J. Rombauer, The Union Cause, p. 309. William M. Wherry, 
The Campaign in Missouri, p. 8. Letter from Fremont to Lincoln, 
August 6, 1 86 1, Lincoln Papers. St. Louis Daily Missouri Republi- 
can, August 7, 1 861. William M. Wherry, "General Nathaniel 
Lyon," p. 82. N. B. Pearce, "Price's Campaign of 1861," p. 338, 
gives an eyewitness account of the Price-McCulloch agreement. 

163 L. E. Meador, History of the Battle of Wilson Cree\, p. [15]. 
Rombauer, The Union Cause, pp. 316, 317. There is some question 
about Sweeney's presence at Lyon's council. Thomas L. Snead, The 
Fight for Missouri, p. 258. Daily Missouri Republican, August 12, 
15, 1861. Cincinnati Commercial, August 17, 1861. James A. Mc- 
Gonigle, "First Kansas Infantry," p. 293. New Yor\ Herald, Au- 
gust 19, 1861. 

164 New Yor\ Tribune, August 18, 1861. Peckham, Gen. Lyon, p. 327. 
Wiley Britton, The Civil War on the Border, p. 85. Ware, Lyon 

37* NOTES 

Campaign, pp. 296, 303-304, 306. Snead, The Fight for Missouri, 
p. 266. The New York World, August 19, 1861, reported the Con- 
federate muster roll as containing twenty thousand. It probably 
numbered about ten thousand effectives. 

165 John M. Schofield, Forty-six Years in the Army, p. 42. Ware, 
Lyon Campaign, pp. 310-31 1. Noble L. Prentis, Kansas Miscellanies, 
p. 60. Otto C. Lademann, "Battle of Wilson's Creek," p. 438. 

166 Van Bur en Press, August 28, 1861. William E. Woodruff, With 
the Light Guns, p. 14. Peckham, Gen. Lyon, pp. 249-350. Ware, 
Lyon Campaign, p. 314. New Yor\ Tribune, August 18, 1861. Al- 
bert R. Greene, "On the Battle of Wilson Creek," p. 118. Holcombe 
and Adams, Account of the Battle of Wilson s Cree\, p. 9. 

167 Fred Steele diary, August 10, 1865. Addison A. Stuart, Iowa 
Colonels and Regiments, p. 179. Franc Bangs Wilkie, Pen and Pow- 
der, p. 210. New Yor\ Herald, August 19, 1861. Ware, Lyon Cam- 
paign, p. 315. Holcombe and Adams, Account of the Battle of Wil- 
son's Cree\, p. 85. 

168-169 New Yor\ Herald, August 19, 1861. Rombauer, The Union Cause, 
p. 317. Peckham, Gen. Lyon, p. 330. Cincinnati Commercial, Au- 
gust 22, 1 861. William E. Connelley, Wild Bill, p. 88. William E. 
Connelley, Quantrill and the Border Wars, p. 198. Interview with 
Schofield, reported in New Yor\ Tribune, February 18, 1883. Wil- 
liam A. Hammond, Personal Recollections of General Nathaniel 
Lyon, p. 12. Greene, "On the Battle of Wilson Creek," p. 120. 
Franc B. Wilkie, "Battle of Wilson's Creek," pp. 291-310, tells 
about Lyon's marching out on August 9, oversleeping, and march- 
ing back to come out again the next night. This story cannot be 
credited in the face of various diaries and the account in the Daily 
Missouri Republican, September 3, 1861. 


The Battle of Wilson's Creek 

170-171 New Yor\ Herald, August 19, 1861. New Yor\ Tribune, Au- 
gust 25, 1 861. L. E. Meador, History of the Battle of Wilson Cree\, 
p. [18]. O. R., I, III, p. 100. Thomas L. Snead, The Fight for Mis- 
souri, pp. 271-272. San Francisco Alta California, January 11, 1862. 
Robert J. Rombauer, The Union Cause in St. Louis, p. 313. Richard 
Hubbell, "Reminiscences" (Ms.), p. 8. Wiley Britton, The Civil 

notes 373 

War on the Border, I, p. 93. St. Louis Daily Missouri Republican, 
December 7, 1861. 

'2-173 New Yor\ Herald, August 23, 1861. Samuel B. Barron, The Lone 
Star Defenders, p. 39. William Baxter, Pea Ridge and Prairie Grove, 
p. 39. Snead, The Fight for Missouri, p. 299. New Yor\ Times, 
December 7, 1861. Albert R. Greene, "On the Battle of Wilson 
Creek," p. 122. Eugene F. Ware, The Lyon Campaign, p. 318. El- 
dredge Collection. Van Buren Press, January 2, 1862. 

174 Ware, Lyon Campaign, pp. 317, 335. William E. Connelley, Wild 
Bill, p. 218. H. H. Crittenden, Memoirs, p. 346. New Yor\ Tribune, 
August 18, 1861. James Peckham, Gen. Nathaniel Lyon, p. 380. 
William H. Tunnard, A Southern Record, p. 52. William Watson, 
Life in the Confederate Army, p. 215. Van Buren Press, January 2, 
1862. R. I. Holcombe and R W. Adams, An Account of the Battle 
of Wilson's Cree\, p. 93. 

175 New Yor\ Herald, August 19, 1861. Snead, The Fight for Mis- 
souri, pp. 275, 282. Watson, Life in the Confederate Army, p. 229. 
Holcombe and Adams, Account of the Battle, pp. 92-93. W. L. 
Webb, Battles and Biographies, p. 318. Kansas, Public Documents, 
p. 76. 

176 New Yor\ Herald, August 19, 23, 1861. New Yor\ Tribune, Au- 
gust 18, 23, 1861. James A. McGonigle, "First Kansas Infantry," 
p. 295. Kansas, Public Documents, pp. 73, 75. Kansas, Report of the 
Adjutant General, p. 12. St. Louis Daily Missouri Republican, Sep- 
tember 10, 1 861. Samuel J. Crawford, Kansas in the Sixties, pp. 32, 
34. Joseph A. Mudd, "What I Saw at Wilson's Creek," p. 101. 
Philadelphia Weekly Times, August 4, 1877. Barron, Lone Star 
Defenders, pp. 34, 46. St. Louis Daily Missouri Republican, Sep- 
tember 10, 1 861. Greene, "On the Battle," p. 123. 

177 Britton, Civil War on the Border, p. 93. David Y. Thomas, Ar- 
kansas in War and Reconstruction, p. 113. Letter, T. J. Churchill, 
August 10, 1861, MoSHi. Peckham, Gen. Lyon, pp. 357-358. El- 
dredge Collection. Meador, History of the Battle, p. 33. Franz Sigel, 
"The Flanking Column at Wilson's Creek," p. 305. 

178 Noble L. Prentis, Kansas Miscellanies, p. 55. New York World, 
August 24, 1 86 1. Van Buren Press, October 31, 1861. Daily Missouri 

374 NOTES 

Republican, August 15, December 12, 1885. N. B. Pearce, "Arkansas 
Troops in the Battle of Wilson's Creek," p. 302. John N. Edwards, 
Shelby and His Men, p. 35. N. B. Pearce, "Price's Campaign of 
1861," p. 337. New Yor\ Tribune, August 30, 1861. Mudd, "What I 
Saw," p. 95. William E. Woodruff, With the Light Guns, p. 47. 
Letter, Gratiot to Eakin, August 12, 1861, MoSHi. 

179 John M. Schofield, Forty-six Years in the Army, pp. 45, 67. Hol- 
combe and Adams, Account of the Battle, p. 46. Los Angeles Star, 
September 21, 1861. John B. Sanborn, "Reminiscences," p. 239. 
Pearce, "Price's Campaign," p. 345, states that Mitchell, in a Spring- 
field hospital, said that he helped Lyon from his horse and was 
wounded himself shortly thereafter. This agrees with the account by 
Wherry in Campaign in Missouri, p. 295. Captain F. J. Herron, of 
Dubuque, claimed to have seen Lyon fall about twenty yards from 
him, according to George Alfred Townsend, "Annals of the War," 
p. 282. 

180 Holcombe and Adams, Account of the Battle, p. 97. Wherry, Cam- 
paign in Missouri, p. 15. Lyon died about 8 or 9 a.m. according 
to the New York World, August 20, 1861, and the Philadelphia 
Weekly Times, August 4, 1877. New Yor\ Tribune, August 18, 
1861. Peckham, Gen. Lyon, p. 381. Letter, Churchill, August 10, 
1861, MoSHi. Britton, Civil War on the Border, p. 96. Meador, His- 
tory of the Battle, p. [24]. 

181 Van Buren Press, August 28, 1861. Peckham, Gen. Lyon, pp. 335, 
355, 391. McGonigle, "First Kansas Infantry," p. 295. Snead, The 
Fight for Missouri, p. 291. Thomas, Arkansas, p. 119; compare 
these casualty figures with William Fox, Regimental Losses, pp. 29, 
36. New Yor\ Tribune, August 19, 23, 1861. Ware, Lyon Campaign, 
pp. 329, 331, 340. New York World, August 29, 1861. Meador, His- 
tory of the Battle, pp. [29-31], analyzes the losses and summarizes 
the percentages with a difference from the 23 per cent in the text. 


The Fall of Lexington 

182 O. R., I, Sup., LIII, p. 720. Jessie Benton Fremont, Story of the 
Guard, p. 115. Thomas Snead, The Fight for Missouri, p. 301. Wil- 
liam H. Tunnard, A Southern Record, p. 78. Lawrence Republican, 
November 7, 1861. St. Louis Daily Missouri Republican, August 7, 

notes 375 

183 George W. Herr, comp., Episodes of the Civil War, p. 34. Allan 
Nevins, Fremont, II, pp. 532-533. William F. Switzler, Illustrated 
History, p. 370. Cincinnati Commercial, August 20, October 14, 
1861. Charles C. Nott, "The Tale of a Goblin Horse," pp. 150, 162- 
163. Franc Bangs Wilkie, Pen and Powder, p. 50. Daily Missouri 
Republican, August 27, 1861. Letter from Fremont to Lincoln, Au- 
gust 8, 17, 1 861, Lincoln Papers. M. F. Force, From Fort Henry to 
Corinth, p. 385. Floyd C. Shoemaker, "The Story of the Civil War 
in Northeast Missouri," pp. 75, 115. William and Ophia Smith, 
Colonel A. W. Gilbert, p. 56 fn. Seymour D. Thompson, Recollec- 
tions with the Third Iowa, p. 145. 

184 Nevins, Fremont, p. 555. Wilkie, Pen and Powder, p. 50. John M. 
Schofield, Forty-six Years in the Army, p. 48. Hugh D. Fisher, The 
Gun and the Gospel, p. 149. Leverett W. Spring, Kansas, p. 274. 

185 Richard Hubbell, "Reminiscences" (Ms.), p. 11. O. R., I, III, 
pp. 466-467. Eli G. Foster, The Civil War by Campaigns, p. 62. 
Nevins, Fremont, p. 564. Roy P. Basler, ed., Collected Wor\s of 
Abraham Lincoln, IV, p. 506. M. Jeff. Thompson, "Autobiography" 
(Ms.), pp. 35, 36. Oliver W. Nixon, "Reminiscences ... of the 
War in Missouri," p. 418. John B. Sanborn, "Reminiscences of the 
War in . . . Missouri," p. 230. Switzler, Illustrated History, p. 392. 
Wiley Britton, The Civil War on the Border, p. 144. 

186 Fisher, Gun and Gospel, p. 149. Charles W. Goodlander, Memoirs 
and Recollections, p. 69. Lincoln Papers, September 8, 1861. 0. R., I, 
III, p. 500. G. Raymond Gaeddert, Birth of Kansas, p. 143. Wilkie, 
Pen and Powder, p. 45. 

187 Chicago Daily Democratic Press, July 3, 1856. Susan A. A. Mc- 
Causland, "Battle of Lexington," p. 129. Little Rock Daily State 
Journal, November 27, 1861. Switzler, Illustrated History, p. 395. 
Battle of Lexington, pp. 5-6. James A. Mulligan, "The Siege of 
Lexington, Mo.," pp. 307, 313 fn. Daily Missouri Republican, Sep- 
tember 16, 19, 1861. Nevins, Fremont, pp. 594-595. 

$8-189 Battle of Lexington, pp. 10, 24, 28. Mulligan, "Siege of Lexington," 
pp. 308, 313 fn. Daily Missouri Republican, July 18, 1885. Samuel 
Phillips Day, Down South, II, p. 183. Frank Moore, Anecdotes, 
Poetry and Incidents of the War, p. 416. McCausland, "Battle of 
Lexington," p. 130. Albert R. Greene, "On the Battle of Wilson 
Creek," p. 122. 

37^ NOTES 

1 90-191 McCausland, "Battle of Lexington," p. 131. Switzler, Illustrated 
History, pp. 395-396. Battle of Lexington, pp. 32, 56-57. Charles 
Morton, "Early War Days in Missouri," p. 156, gives credit to the 
Thirteenth Missouri, Companies B and E, for the charge on the 

192 Battle of Lexington, pp. 8, 20, 57. Nixon, "Reminiscences," p. 420. 
The Negro's dialect has been edited. Daily Missouri Republican, 
September 25, 1861. Smith, Colonel Gilbert, p. 60. Los Angeles Star, 
December 7, 12, 1861. R. S. Bevier, History of the First and Second 
Missouri, p. 307. 

193 Milo M. Quaife, ed., Absalom Grimes, p. 23. Battle of Lexington, 
pp. 14, 16, 33. Morton, "Early War Days," p. 156. 

194 Battle of Lexington, p. 26. Britton, Civil War on the Border, 
p. 143. Day, Down South, p. 188. Van Horn Papers. Quaife, Ab- 
salom Grimes, p. 25. Wilkie, Pen and Powder, p. 47. Nevins, Fre- 
mont, p. 593. Daily Missouri Republican, September 25, 1861. 


Osceola, Zagoni, and Fremont's Recall 

195 Kansas Scrapbook, Biography, IV, p. 269. Frank W. Blackmar, 
Life of Charles Robinson, p. 279. Leverett W. Spring, Kansas, pp. 
275-276. 0. R., I, III, p. 490. Annie Heloise Abel, The American 
Indian as Participant in the Civil War, p. 53. James G. Blunt, "Ac- 
count of . . . Civil War Experiences," p. 214. William E. Connel- 
ley, Life of Preston B. Plumb, p. 90. San Francisco Alta California, 
October 12, 1861. 

196 Cincinnati Commercial, October 7, 11, 31, 1861. Henry E. Palmer, 
"The Border War," pp. 176-177, and "The Soldiers of Kansas," 
p. 457. Lawrence Republican, October 3, 1861. Spring, Kansas, 
p. 276. Alta California, January 4, 1861. William E. and Ophia D. 
Smith, Colonel A. W. Gilbert, p. 65. 0. R., I, III, p. 517. Wiley Brit- 
ton, The Civil War on the Border, p. 181. Blackmar, Life of Robin- 
son, p. 277. 

197 Chicago Tribune, October 22, 1861. Leavenworth Times, Novem- 
ber 10, 1861. Harper s Weekly, November 23, 1861. 0. R., I, III, 
p. 529. Abel, American Indian as Participant, p. 57. Spring, Kansas, 
p. 278. Lane's speech in Leavenworth is reported in the Cincinnati 

notes 377 

Commercial, October n, 16, 1861. Note also the Chicago Tribune, Oc- 
tober 31, 1 861, the Lawrence Republican, October 24, 1861, the New 
Yor\ Times, November 7, 8, 1861. Smith, Colonel Gilbert, p. 61. 
Seymour D. Thompson, Recollections with the Third Iowa, pp. 160- 
161. New Yor\ Times, November 9, 1861. James F. Rusling, Across 
America, pp. 29-31. Lawrence Republican, September 30, 1861. St. 
Louis Daily Missouri Republican, October 16, 1861. 

)8-i99 John N. Edwards, Shelby and His Men, p, 51. Milo M. Quaife, 
ed., Absalom Grimes, p. 25. Daily Missouri Republican, October 9, 

1 861. Floyd C. Shoemaker, "Story of the Civil War in Northeast 
Missouri," p. 115. James Peckham, Gen. Nathaniel Lyon, p. 268. 
Alta California, Sup., March 1, 1862. Cincinnati Commercial, Oc- 
tober 2, 4, 1861. Francis Brown, Raymond of the Times, p. 219. 
O. R., I, III, pp. 184-185. Battle of Lexington, p. 20. Allan Nevins, 
Fremont, II, pp. 601, 603. William F. Switzler, Illustrated History, 
P- 399- 

>o-2oi Britton, Civil War on the Border, pp. 149-150, 160. Switzler, Il- 
lustrated History, p. 402. Nevins, Fremont, pp. 606-607. James L. 
Foley, "With Fremont in Missouri," pp. 502, 519. Jessie Benton 
Fremont, Story of the Guard, pp. 112, 122. Junction City Union, 
August 11, 1883. George W. Herr, comp., Episodes of the Civil 
War, p. 35. Charles Treichel, "Major Zagoni's Horse Guard," p. 241. 
Charles H. Lothrop, History of the First Regiment, pp. 25-26. 

202 Cincinnati Commercial, October 31, 1861. Britton, Civil War on 
the Border, p. 154. Foley, "With Fremont," p. 513. Lothrop, History 
of the First Regiment, pp. 33-34. Frank Moore, Anecdotes, Poetry 
and Incidents of the War, p. 443. "Fremont's Hundred Days," p. 253. 
Fremont, Story of the Guard, p. 146. Of several maps the best is in 
Foley, "With Fremont," p. 517. 

203 Treichel, "Major Zagoni's Horse Guard," p. 244. Fremont, Story 
of the Guard, pp. 139-140, 144. Moore, Anecdotes, p. 445. E. S. S. 
Rouse, The Bugle Blast, p. 92. Cincinnati Commercial, November 9, 

1862. O. R., I, III, p. 251. Foley, "With Fremont," p. 519. 

204 Fremont, Story of the Guard, pp. 154, 181. Lothrop, History of 
the First Regiment, p. 36. Cincinnati Commercial, November 13, 
1861. New Yor\ Herald, November 3, 4, 8, 1861. function City 
Union, August 11, 1883. Alta California, December 28, 1861, Sup., 
March 1, 1862. New Orleans Picayune, December 3, 1861. Daily 

378 NOTES 

Missouri Republican, October 22, 1861. Britton, Civil War on the 
Border, pp. 153, 158, 201. Switzler, Illustrated History, p. 319. 

205 Nevins, Fremont, p. 614. Daily Missouri Republican, October 2, 
November 9, 1861. Smith, Colonel Gilbert, p. 68 fn. Letter, Day El- 
moore, November 12, 1861. Van Buren Press, November 21, 1861. 
Gustave Koerner, Memoirs, II, p. 190. Military History . . . Thir- 
teenth . . . Illinois, p. 85. Fremont, Story of the Guard, p. 196. 

206 Los Angeles Star, December 14, 1861. Alta California, January 4, 
1862. Van Buren Press, November 28, 1861. Harper's Weekly, No- 
vember 23, 1861, p. 738. Junction City Union, August 11, 1883. 
Smith, Colonel Gilbert, p. 69 fn. Hunter's testimony on the retreat 
appears in Report of the Joint Committee on the Conduct of the 
War, III, pp. 234-248. Franz Sigel, "Military Operations in Mis- 
souri," p. 367. 

207-208 Benjamin D. Dean, Recollections of the 26th Missouri Infantry, 
p. 217. Rouse, Bugle Blast, p. 278. Lawrence Republican, Novem- 
ber 7, 21, 1 86 1. Van Buren Press, November 28, 1861. The quota- 
tion from Hugh D. Fisher, The Gun and the Gospel, p. 149, has 
been edited. Daily Missouri Democrat, February 1, 1862. Smith, 
■ Colonel Gilbert, p. 71 fn. Alta California, January 4, 1862. Harper's 
Weekly, December 28, 1861. Lloyd Lewis, Sherman, Fighting 
Prophet, pp. 199-200. Smith, Colonel Gilbert, p. 74. Daily Missouri 
Republican, December 27, 1861. Letter, Benjamin, in CSmH. 


The Five Nations Secede 

209-210 Cherokee Register of Claims, N. 8, p. 22. Carolyn T. Foreman, 
Par\ Hill, pp. 30-31. Cincinnati Commercial, October 4, 1861. Al- 
bert D. Richardson, Beyond the Mississippi, pp. 222, 224. "Indian- 
Pioneer History" (Ms.), I, pp. 292, 300. Annie Heloise Abel, "The 
Indians in the Civil War," p. 289. Emmet Starr, History of the 
Cherokee Indians, p. 497. Morris L. Wardell, A Political History of 
the Cherokee Nation, p. 122. 

211 Chicago Tribune, November 29, December 4, 1863. United States 

Indian Office, Report of the Commissioner . . . 1864, p. 307. Annie 
Heloise Abel, The American Indian as Slaveholder and Secessionist, 
p. 135 fn. Abel, "Indians in the Civil War," p. 289. Rachel Caroline 

notes 379 

Eaton, John Ross and the Cherokee Indians, p. 175. Letter of John R. 
Ridge to Major Ridge, March 10, 1835, Phillips Collection. 

212 E. E. Dale and Gaston Litton, Cherokee Cavaliers, pp. xviii, 136. 
Affidavit of H. J. Wheeler, January 27, 1846, Tx. Pencil note by 
Emmet Starr in OkHi. Washington Telegraph, November 16, 1864. 
Cherokee Register of Claims, Case 13. Letters of John Ogden to 
Stand Watie, July 19, 1852, and J. W. Washburne to Stand Watie, 
September 21, 1849, both Tx. 

213 Phillips Collection Correspondence. Abel, "Indians in the Civil 
War," p. 282. Clarksville Standard, July 13, 1861. Van Bur en Press, 
June 19, 1 861. Little Rock Arkansas Gazette, April 2, 1893. New 
Yor\ Tribune, March 27, 1862. Fred W. Allsop, Albert Pi\e, pp. 108, 
131-132. Horace Van Deventer, Albert Pi\e, pp. 7-10, outlines 
Pike's Eastern school experience and reprints many of his poems. 
See also Supreme Council, 33 , p. 209. Letter, John Cox to Wil- 
liam P. Dole, March 18, 1864. United States Indian Office, letters 
received and Report of Commissioner . . . 1864, p. 39. Abel, "In- 
dians in the Civil War," p. 283. Little Roc\ Times and Herald, 
July 8, 1861. 

214 Pencil note by Emmet Starr, n.d., OkHi. Letter, Ben McCulloch 
to John Ross, June 12,. 1861, Phillips Collection, requests organiza- 
tion of such a company. War dell, Political History of Cherokee Na- 
tion, p. 130. Van Buren Press, February 8, 1861. Clarksville Stand- 
ard, May 18, July 20, 1861. Abel, "Indians in the Civil War," p. 285. 
Wiley Britton, The Union Indian Brigade, pp. 21-22, 31. 

215 Clarksville Standard, July 20, 1861. Kiowa Agency, Letter Press 
Book. Wichita and Affiliated Tribes vs United States, in Court of 
Claims, No. E — 542. United States Indian Office, Report of Com- 
missioner . . . 1864, p. 304. Will C. Barnes, "The Chisholm Trail 
— For Whom Was It Named?" p. 3. Carl Coke Rister, Border Cap- 
tives, p. 128. T. U. Taylor, Jesse Chisholm, pp. 20, 83. Carl Coke 
Rister, Southern Plainsmen, p. 95. 

216 Kiowa Agency, ledger of Shirley Trading House. Letter, Mathew 
Leeper to Pike, October 21, 1861, Phillips Collection. United States 
Office Indian Affairs, "Confederate Papers" (Ms.). Clarksville Stand- 
ard, August 10, 1 861. Letter, Mathew Leeper to Elias Rector, De- 
cember 12, 1 86 1, Tx. United States Indian Office, Report of Com- 

380 NOTES 

missioner . . . 1864, p. iii. Letter, Leeper to Pike, April 13, 1862. 
United States Office Indian Affairs, "Confederate Papers" (Ms.). 
"Indian-Pioneer History" (Ms.), pp. 268-270. Pencil note by Em- 
met Starr in OkHi. Cyrus Byington, diary (Ms.), September 5, 1861. 

217 Letter, John Ross to I. R. Kannaday, May 17, 1861, Tx. Fort 
Smith Times and Herald, August 16, 24, 1861. Abel, "Indians in the 
Civil War," p. 288. 0. R., I, III, p. 673. United States Indian Office, 
Report of Commissioner . . . 1864, p. 326. Letter, John Ross to 
A. Lincoln, September 7, 1862, Lincoln Papers. Abel, The Ameri- 
can Indian as Slaveholder, p. 227. Pencil note by Emmet Starr in 
OkHi. O. O. Howard, My Life . . . among Our Hostile Indians, 
p. 100. 

218 Clarksville Standard, October 26, November 23, 1861. Fort Smith 
Times and Herald, August 24, October 5, 1861. Van Buren Press, 
August 28, November 7, 1861. United States Indian Office, Report 
of Commissioner . . . 1864, pp. 326, 354, 355. Abel, American In- 
dian as Slaveholder, p. 137 fn. Letter of W. R. Brodgate to Stand 
Watie, September 20, 1861, Phillips Collection. Supreme Council, 
3^°, p. 209. Wardell, Political History of Cherokee Nation, pp. 139- 
141. R. S. Cate, of Norman, Oklahoma, has a copy of the letter of 
October 7, 1 861, in which the offer is made, with Jim Ned excepted. 


Slaveholding Indians Declare War 

219 United States Indian Office, Report of the Commissioner . . . 
1864, p. 356. New Yor\ Tribune, January 6, 1862. Letter, signed 
with Opothleyoholo's mark, to Barent DuBois, February 1, 1849, in 
possession of R. S. Cate, Norman, Oklahoma. John B. Meserve, 
"The Macintoshes," pp. 313, 322. 

220 Creek Nation, Council Book. "Indian-Pioneer History" (Ms.), 
MCI, p. 316, LXXVI, pp. 76, 128. Clarksville Standard, November 
16, 1 86 1. William A. Tunnard, A Southern Record, p. 102. Note by 
Emmet Starr at OkHi. United States Indian Office, Report of Com- 
missioner . . . 1864, p. 351. Annie Heloise Abel, The American 
Indian as Participant, pp. 62 fn, 64 fn, 69-70. O. R., I, III, p. 530. 
Abel, The American Indian as Slaveholder, p. 248. Abel, American 
Indian as Participant, pp. 66, 74. Fort Smith Times and Herald, 
October 9, 1861. Van Buren Press, October 9, 16, 31, November 21, 

NOTES 3 8 I 

1861. Wiley Britton, The Civil War on the Border, p. 165. G. W. 
Grayson, "Red Paths and White" (Ms.), p. 67. 

221 Interview with R. S. Cate, Norman, Oklahoma. Angie Debo, "The 
Site of the Battle of Round Mountain," p. 206. Clarksville Standard, 
November 23, 1861. Van Bur en Press, November 21, 1861. Creek 
Nation, Council Book. Cooper countermanded Mcintosh's promise 
to confiscate property of the Union-supporting Creeks. Leavenworth 
Daily Conservative, January 28, 1862. Van Buren Press, Novem- 
ber 7, 1 86 1. Britton, Civil War on the Border, p. 164. 

222 Typed description of refugee camp in OkHi. "Indian-Pioneer 
History" (Ms.), CVIII, p. 201. Debo, "Site of the Battle," p. 200. 

223 "Indian-Pioneer History" (Ms.), XLIV, p. 29, CVII, p. 361, CIX, 
pp. 175-183. Van Buren Press, November 14, December 5, 1861. 
Debo, "Site of the Battle," pp. 201-202. Britton, Civil War on the 
Border, pp. 164, 167. United States Office Indian Affairs, letters re- 
ceived, Choctaw, C-676-11868, enclosure, "Statement relative to the 
Exodus of Ho-poith-la-yo-ho-la." Little Rock Daily State Journal, De- 
cember 5, 12, 1 861. Letter, Samuel R. Curtis to brother, February 20, 
1864, Curtis Papers, CSmH. 

224 Letter, Jacob V. Carter to Hon. H. Price, October 30, 1883, Sac 
and Fox Agency, Letter Press Book. Kiowa Agency, Letter Press 
Book, p. 12. United States Indian Office, Report of Commissioner 
. . . 1864, pp. 41, 259, 536. "Indian-Pioneer History" (Ms.), CIX, 
p. 183. Homer Croy, Our Will Rogers, p. 10. O. R., I, VIII, p. 8. 
Britton, Civil War on the Border, p. 168. The number deserting 
Drew's regiment was between four and five hundred, according to 
a letter from Col. Garrett to David Hubbard, December 16, 1861. 
United States Office Indian Affairs, letters received, and United 
States Indian Office, Report of Commissioner . . . 1864, pp. 285, 
323> 334- 

25-226 Little Rock Daily State Journal, December 17, 24, 1861. San 
Francisco Alta California, February 22, 1862. "Indian-Pioneer His- 
tory" (Ms.), CV, pp. 268-270, CIX, p. 178. United States Office 
Indian Affairs, "Statement." O. R., I, VIII, pp. 11, 22-24. Abel, 
American Indian as Participant, p. 19. Van Buren Press, January 9, 

227 "Indian-Pioneer History" (Ms.), XXVI, p. 254, CVII, pp. 69, 361, 

CVIII, p. 201. O. R., I, VIII, pp. 32, 690. Little Rock Daily State 

3^2 NOTES 

Journal, December 1, 7, 1861, January 7, 1862. Chicago Tribune, 
December 5, 1863. Abel, American Indian as Slaveholder, p. 79. 
Abel, American Indian as Participant, pp. 20, 76 fn. Letters, Pike 
to Elias Rector, December 29, 1861; Mathew Leeper to Rector and 
to Chisholm, Buffalo Hump to John Jumper, all December 1861; 
H. P. Jones to Pike, May 8, 1862; all Tx. Mathew Leeper to Pike, 
October 21, 1861, United States Office Indian Affairs, "Confederate 
Papers" (Ms.). George Bent to George Hyde, April 7, 1905, Bent 
Correspondence. Letter dated December 15, 1861, Tx. 


I Must Have St. Louis — Then Huzza! 

228 Letter, Curtis, January 30, 1861, Curtis Papers, CSmH. Nathan C. 
Harwood, "The Pea Ridge Campaign," p. 112. 

229 Jay Monaghan, The Great Rascal, p. 198. John W. Noble, "Battle 
of Pea Ridge," p. 239. Letter, Curtis to brother, December 16, 1861, 
Curtis Papers, CSmH. William E. Connelley, Wild Bill, p. 51. 
Harvey S. Ford, "Van Dorn and the Pea Ridge Campaign," p. 226. 
Wiley Britton, Civil War on the Border, I, p. 204. Addison A. 
Stuart, Iowa Colonels, p. in. Military History . . . of the Thir- 
teenth . . . Illinois, p. 128. 

230 Stuart, Iowa Colonels, p. 115. Franz Sigel, "The Pea Ridge Cam- 
paign," p. 316. New Orleans Picayune, March 2, 1862. Price was 
later exchanged, and he resigned from the Confederate Army to 
return home, St. Joseph Morning Herald, October 28, 1862. 

231 Milo M. Quaife, ed., Absalom Grimes, p. 38. Letter, George 
Waley, n.d., MoSHi. L. G. Bennett and Wm. M. Haight, History of 
the Thirty-Sixth . . . Illinois, p. 113. Grenville M. Dodge, Battle of 
Atlanta, p. 36. Stuart, Iowa Colonels, pp. in, 113. David Lathrop, 
History of Fifty-Ninth . . . Illinois, pp. 73, 75, 78. Britton, Civil 
War on the Border, p. 205. David Y. Thomas, Arkansas, p. 124. St. 
Louis Daily Missouri Republican, December 12, 1885. Charles H. 
Lothrop, History of First . . . Iowa Cavalry, p. 74. Military History 
. . . of Thirteenth . . . Illinois, p. 170. Sigel, "Pea Ridge Cam- 
paign," p. 317. 

232 Daily Missouri Republican, December 12, 1885. Britton, Civil War 
on the Border, pp. 207, 209. Letter, Curtis to brother, February 25, 
1862, Curtis Papers, CSmH. Winona Weekly Republican, March 9, 

NOTES 383 

1887. Lathrop, History of Fifty-Ninth, p. 81. A. W. Bishop, Loyalty 
on the Frontier, pp. 141-143. 

233 Letter, Curtis to brother, February 25, 1862, Curtis Papers, CSmH. 
Daily Missouri Republican, December 12, 1885. Letter, Col. W. T. 
Freeman, February 3, 1862, Snyder Papers. Little Rock Daily State 
Journal, January 15, 16, 18, 1862. Annie Heloise Abel, American 
Indian as Participant, pp. 21, 25. Ford, "Van Dorn and Pea Ridge," 
pp. 222-223. Eldredge Collection. George W. Herr, Episodes of the 
Civil War, p. 86. [E. Van Dorn Miller], A Soldier s Honor, p. 63. 

234 Herr, Episodes, p. 65. Britton, Civil War on the Border, pp. 214, 
259-260. John N. Edwards, Shelby and His Men, p. 49. San Fran- 
cisco Alta California, May 10, 1862. O. R., I, VIII, p. 196. Eli G. 
Foster, The Civil War by Campaigns, p. 63. Fred W. Allsop, Albert 
Pi\e, p. 207. A contradiction to this description of Pike's feathered 
costume may be found in Supreme Council, 33 °, pp. 220-221 and 
Herr, Episodes, p. 83. It is presumed that Ross wore his usual cos- 
tume. "Indian-Pioneer History" (Ms.), XXVII, p. 421. 

235 John Bartlett Meserve, "The Macintoshes," p. 316 fn. Van Buren 
Press, October 9, 1861. Daily Missouri Republican, December 12, 
1885. Letter, Curtis, March 13, 1862, Curtis Papers, CSmH. Con- 
nelley, Wild Bill, p. 64. Ford, "Van Dorn and Pea Ridge," p. 229. 

236 Noble L. Prentis, Kansas Miscellanies, p. 50. John D. Crabtree, 
"Recollections of the Pea Ridge Campaign," p. 217. William Baxter, 
Pea Ridge and Prairie Grove, p. 246. Herr, Episodes, p. 66. Sigel, 
"Pea Ridge Campaign," p. 331 fn, and Bishop, Loyalty on the 
Frontier, pp. 56, 60, disagree on Cox's presence at the tavern. 

2 37~ 2 3^ Britton, Civil War on the Border, p. 220. Edwards, Shelby, p. 49. 
Samuel B. Barron, Lone Star Defenders, p. 66. Ford, "Van Dorn 
and Pea Ridge," p. 231. Quaife, Absalom Grimes, pp. 30, 38. 


The Battle of Pea Ridge 

239 O. R., I, VIII, p. 199. Wiley Britton, Civil War on the Border, 

p. 224. Harvey S. Ford, "Van Dorn and the Pea Ridge Campaign," 
p. 232. George W. Herr, Episodes of the Civil War, p. 76. David Y. 
Thomas, Arkansas, p. 128. Winona Weekly Republican, March 9, 
1887. [E. Van Dorn Miller], A Soldier's Honor, pp. 74, 291. 

384 NOTES 

240-241 L. G. Bennett, History of the Thirty-Sixth . . . Illinois, pp. 146, 
154, 157. R. S. Bevier, History of the First and Second Missouri, 
p. 316. Grenville M. Dodge, Battle of Atlanta, p. 35. Herr, Episodes, 
pp. 69-70. William Baxter, Pea Ridge and Prairie Grove, p. 39. 
John D. Crabtree, "Recollections of the Pea Ridge Campaign," 
p. 218. "Indian-Pioneer History" (Ms.), IX, p. 288. Annie Heloise 
Abel, The American Indian as Participant in the Civil War, p. 31. 
Samuel B. Barron, Lone Star Defenders, p. 68. John W. Noble, 
"Battle of Pea Ridge," pp. 227, 228. O. R., I, VIII, p. 288. United 
States Indian Office, Report of the Commissioner . . . 1861, p. 323. 
Sam H. M. Byers, Iowa in War Times, p. 115. William Watson, 
Life in the Confederate Army, p. 294. 

242 O. R., I, VIII, p. 218. Abel, American Indian as Participant, p. 31. 

Baxter, Pea Ridge, p. 102. John N. Edwards, Shelby and His Men, 
p. 49. Wiley Britton, "Union and -Confederate Indians," p. 336. 
Annie Heloise Abel, "Indians in the Civil War," p. 289. Byers, 
Iowa in War Times, p. 115. Frank Moore, Anecdotes, Poetry and 
Incidents, p. 120. In Supreme Council, 33 , p. 220, the scalping 
story is not given the horrendous dimensions other propagandists 
gave it. 

243-244 Crabtree, "Recollections," p. 219. Dodge, Battle of Atlanta, p. 27. 
Noble, "Battle of Pea Ridge," p. 234. William E. Connelley, Wild 
Bill, p. 64. Frank J. Wilstach, Wild Bill Hic\o\, p. 8. The presence 
of the tavern owner is contradicted by A. E. Bishop, Loyalty on the 
Frontier, pp. 56, 60, and by Franz Sigel, "Pea Ridge Campaign," 
p. 331 fn. Edward A. Blodgett, "The Army of the Southwest," 
p. 307. Britton, Civil War, pp. 257-261. Samuel P. Curtis, "The 
Army of the South- West," p. 144. Noble L. Prentis, Kansas Miscel- 
lanies, p. 51. William Clark Kennerly, Persimmon Hill, p. 242. 

245 Curtis reported the incident more mildly in O. R., I, VIII, p. 201, 
than he did in his personal correspondence. Noble, "Battle of Pea 
Ridge," p. 238. Bennett, History of the Thirty-Sixth, p. 161, cites 
Sigel as being confident of victory, but Curtis, in a letter to his 
brother, April 16, 1862, tells a different story. Curtis may have been 
supercritical of the German on account of the undue credit given 
him in the press. David Lathrop, History of the Fifty-Ninth . . . 
Illinois, pp. 96-97. 

246 Curtis, "Army of the South-West," p. 153. Moore, Anecdotes, 
p. 119. Lathrop, History of the Fifty-Ninth, p. 96. Britton, Civil 

NOTES 3 8 J 

War, pp. 261, 264. Abel, American Indian as Participant, p. 31. 
Bennett, History of the Thirty-Sixth, pp. 163-165. Kennerly, Persim- 
mon Hill, pp. 242-243. O. R., I, VIII, p. 285. Edwards, Shelby, 
p. 51. 

247 Curtis, "Army of the South-West," p. 143. Kennerly, Persimmon 
Hill, p. 243. Letter, Curtis to brother, March 13, 1862, Curtis Papers, 
CSmH. St. Louis Daily Missouri Republican, July 18, 1885. Ben- 
nett, History of the Thirty-Sixth, p. 167. Britton, Civil War, p. 264. 
Herr, Episodes, pp. 74-75. 

248 Britton, Civil War, pp. 270, 275. Thomas, Arkansas, p. 133. Curtis, 
"Army of the South-West," pp. 144, 146, 174. Noble, "Battle of Pea 
Ridge," pp. 232-233. Bennett, History of the Thirty-Sixth, pp. 151, 
170, 173. Herr, Episodes, pp. 79-80. Milo M. Quaife, ed., Absalom 
Grimes, pp. 38, 43. St. Joseph Morning Herald, September 10, 1862. 

249 Homer Field reprint from History of Pottawattamie County. Ad- 
dison A. Stuart, Iowa Colonels, p. 114. Eugene F. Ware, The In- 
dian War of 1864, p. 4. O. R., I, VIII, p. 206. Sigel, "Pea Ridge 
Campaign," p. 333. Dodge, Battle of Atlanta, p. 30. Prentis, Kansas 
Miscellanies, p. 51. Letter, Curtis to brother, March 13, 1862, Curtis 
Papers, CSmH. 

250 Letter, Curtis to brother, April 16, 1862, Curtis Papers, CSmH. 
Curtis, "Army of the South-West," pp. 147, 158. Wilfred R. Hollister 
and Harry Norman, Five Famous Missourians, p. 352. Military His- 
tory ... of the Thirteenth . . . Illinois, p. 164. O. R., I, VIII, p. 195. 
"Indian-Pioneer History" (Ms.), XXVI, p. 277. Abel, American 
Indian as Participant, p. 33. 

251 Baxter, Pea Ridge, pp. 85, 94-95, 101, 124, 152. St. Joseph Morn- 
ing Herald, October 10, 31, 1862. Richard H. Benton, "Reminis- 
cences" (Ms.). Britton, Civil War, p. 313. Eli G. Foster, Civil War 
by Campaigns, p. 64. Edward A. Davenport, ed., History of the 
Ninth . . . Illinois Cavalry, p. 43. San Francisco Aha California, 
October 18, 1862. Charles E. Nash, Biographical Sketches, p. 65. 
Thomas L. Snead, "The Conquest of Arkansas," p. 444. New Or- 
leans Picayune, April 20, 1862. 


The Bloodstained Kansas Banner 

252 St. Louis Daily Missouri Republican, August 13, 1861. Wiley 
Britton, Union Indian Brigade, pp. 62-63. Annie Heloise Abel, 

386 NOTES 

American Indian as Participant, pp. 115 fn, 126, 251. United States 
Indian Office, Loyal Cree\ Claim: Hearings, p. 29, and Report of 
the Commissioner . . . 1865, p. 39. 

253 Abel, American Indian as Participant, p. 121. Wiley Britton, 
Civil War on the Border, pp. 299, 306, and Union Indian Brigade, 
p. 74. Albert R. Greene, "Campaigning in the Army of the Fron- 
tier," p. 287. 0. R., I, XIII, pp. 162, 521. Annie Heloise Abel, 
American Indian as Slaveholder, pp. 138 fn, 139 fn. United States 
Indian Office, Report of the Commissioner . . . 1865, pp. 38, 323. 
National Cyclopaedia of American Biography, VIII, p. 257. Abel, 
American Indian as Participant, pp. 139-142. 

254 Harrison Hannahs, "General Thomas Ewing, Jr.," p. 276. John 
Speer, Life of James H. Lane, pp. 333, 353. Leverett W. Spring, 
Kansas, p. 282. Interview with Mrs. Daniel C. Johnson, Kansas 
City, Missouri. Noble L. Prentis, Kansas Miscellanies, p. no. 

255 San Francisco Alta California, January 21, 1863. St. Joseph Morn- 
ing Herald, August 15, September 2, October 3, 1862. O. R., I, 
XXIII, pp. 235-239, and III, II, pp. 802-805. Some Negroes were 
supplied with regulation uniforms, according to Benjamin Quarles, 
The Negro in the Civil War, p. 114. Britton, Civil War, p. 316. 
Abel, American Indian as Participant, p. 205. William E. Connel- 
ley, Quantrill, pp. 260-267, 269. Leavenworth Daily Conservative, 
September 29, 1862. Edward A. Davenport, ed., History of the 
Ninth . . . Illinois, p. 43. 

256 John N. Edwards, Shelby and His Men, pp. 77, 106. Charles E. 
Nash, Biographical Sketches, p. 77. Thomas L. Snead, "Conquest of 
Arkansas," p. 444. David Y. Thomas, Arkansas, p. 352. Letter, Pike 
to Elias Rector, January 28, 1862, Tx. Washington Telegraph, 
September 17, 1862. O. R., I, XIII, pp. 869-871. Fred W. Allsop, 
Albert Pi\e, p. 200. Abel, American Indian as Participant, pp. 181, 

257 Watie, as chief, printed proclamation of Hindman's calling all 
loyal Cherokee to their homes under his protection, GEU. Edwards, 
Shelby, p. 77. Snead, "Conquest of Arkansas," p. 447. Fort Smith 
New Era, November 5, 1864. White Cloud Chief, June 9, 1864. 
Abel, "Indians in Civil War," p. 293. O. R., I, XXII, pt. 1, p. 43. 
Addison A. Stuart, Iowa Colonels, p. 361. 

NOTES 387 

258-259 "Diary of Unknown Soldier" (Ms.), November 26, 1862. Connel- 
ley, Quantrill, p. 281. Edwards, Shelby, pp. 94, 100, 102. Britton, 
Civil War, pp. 388, 393. Thomas, Arkansas, p. 157. 

260 O. R., I, XXII, pt. 1, pp. 42, 46. Wilfred R. Hollister and Harry 

Norman, Five Famous Missourians, p. 256. Britton, Civil War, 
p. 386. William E. Connelley, Life of Preston B. Plumb, p. 113, 126. 
Samuel J. Crawford, Kansas in the Sixties, p. 72. Edward Bumgard- 
ner, Life of Edmund G. Ross, p. 46. John F. Lee, "John Sappington 
Marmaduke," p. 29. 


The Battle of Prairie Grove 

261 Wiley Britton, Civil War on the Border, p. 397. "Diary of Un- 
known Soldier" (Ms.), November 4, 1862. A. W. Bishop, Loyalty 
on the Frontier, p. 68. Henry E. Palmer, "An Outing in Arkansas," 
p. 221. 

262-263 William Baxter, Pea Ridge and Prairie Grove, p. 179. Britton, 
Civil War, p. 396. Noble L. Prentis, Kansas Miscellanies, pp. 17, 19. 
John N. Edwards, Shelby and His Men, pp. 110-111, 113. Frank 
Moore, Anecdotes, Poetry and Incidents, p. 506. 

264-265 W. W. Denison, "Battle of Prairie Grove," pp. 589-590. Edwards, 
Shelby, p. 116. William E. Connelley, Life of Preston B. Plumb, 
p. 120. H. H. Crittenden, Memoirs, pp. 213-239, 345. Baxter, Pea 
Ridge, p. 181. "Diary of Unknown Soldier" (Ms.), December J, 
1862. David Y. Thomas, Arkansas, p. 164. 

266-267 O. R., I, XXII, pt. 1, pp. 94, 102 ff. Bishop, Loyalty, p. 69. Ed- 
wards, Shelby, pp. 118, 122-124. Wilfred R. Hollister and Harry 
Norman, Five Famous Missourians, pp. 359-360. Prentis, Kansas 
Miscellanies, pp. 13, 18-22. Britton, Civil War, p. 412. Thomas, Ar- 
kansas, p. 170. 

268-269 Samuel J. Crawford, Kansas in the Sixties, pp. 77-78. Prentis, 
Kansas Miscellanies, pp. 24, 29, 32. Denison, "Battle of Prairie 
Grove," p. 587. Connelley, Life of Plumb, pp. 123, 125-126. White 
Cloud Chief, June 9, 1864. 

270 Edwards, Shelby, pp. 125-126, 128. James G. Blunt, "Account of 

Civil War Experiences," p. 233. Prentis, Kansas Miscellanies, p. 29. 

388 NOTES 

Richard H. Benton, "Reminiscences" (Ms.), p. 6. Fort Smith New 
Era, December 12, 1862. O. R., I, XXII, pt. 1, p. 69. 

271 Britton, Civil War, pp. 430, 436, 440. Prentis, Kansas Miscellanies, 

p. 29. Edwards, Shelby, p. 127. 0. R., I, XXII, pt. 2, p. 6. Annie 
Heloise Abel, American Indian as Participant, p. 219 fn. Henry C. 
Adams, "Battle of Prairie Grove," p. 462. Connelley, Life of Plumb, 
pp. 26, 131. Letter, Rector to Johnson, January 29, 1863, Tx. United 
States Indian Office, Report of the Commissioner . . . 1%$, p. 285. 
Blunt, "Account of Experiences," p. 236. 

272-273 Crawford, Kansas in the Sixties, p. 95. Thomas, Arkansas, p. 196. 
C. B. Holland, report of battle (Ms.). St. Joseph Morning Herald, 
January 13, 18, 22, 1863. Little Rock Arkansas True Democrat, 
January 28, 1863. Eli G. Foster, Civil War by Campaigns, p. 66. 
Hollister and Norman, Five Famous Missourians, p. 361. 


Quantrill Redresses Gettysburg 

274 William E. Connelley, Quantrill and the Border Wars, p. 281, 
suggests that Price may have conferred the colonelcy. Annie Heloise 
Abel, American Indian as Participant, p. 251. R. J. Bell, diary (Ms.), 
August 12, 1863. Letter, Rector to Johnson, January 29, 1863, Tx. 
O. R., I, XXII, pt. 2, p. 411. Samuel H. Chester, Pioneer Days, p. 53. 

275 Daily Kansas City Journal of Commerce, June 17, 1865. Soldier's 
Letter (newspaper), I, No. 4. Henry H. Crittenden, Memoirs, p. 347. 
Letter, Ross to W. P. Dole, April 2, 1863, Tx. Cherokee Nation, 
Minute-book, February 18, November 16, 1863. United States In- 
dian Office, Report of the Commissioner . . . 1865, p. 36. Abel, 
American Indian as Participant, pp. 256, 258, 267, 271. O. R., I, 
XXII, pt. 1, p. 34, pt. 2, pp. 1 049-1 053. Warner Lewis, "Massacre of 
Confederates by the Osages," p. 49. 

276 Clarksville Standard, June 16, 1863. Description of marker in Kan- 
sas Quarterly, No. 4 (November 1941), p. 357. O. R., I, XXII, pt. 2, 
p. 286, lists nineteen as killed. Abel, American Indian as Participant, 
p. 237 fn. W. L. Bartles, "Massacre of Confederates," pp. 62-66. 
Wiley Britton, Civil War on the Border, II, p. 228. Warner Lewis, 
"Civil War Reminiscences," p. 229. 

NOTES 389 

277 Chicago Times, June 13, 1863. Roy P. Basler, ed\, Collected Wor\s 
of Abraham Lincoln, VI, p. 234. John M. Schofield, Forty-six Years 
in the Army, p. 90. 

278 William E. Connelley, Life of Preston B. Plumb, p. 142. Kansas 
City Western Journal of Commerce, July 11, August 15, 1863. Con- 
nelley, Life of Plumb, p. 153. Eli G. Foster, Civil War by Cam- 
paigns, p. 66. Wilfred R. Hollister and Harry Norman, Five Famous 
Missourians, p. 363. 

79-280 Clarksville Standard, September 12, October 10, 1863. 0. R., I, 
XX, pt. 2, pp. 457-461, 1, XXII, pt. 1, pp. 448, 457-461, pt. 2, p. 961. 
Britton, Civil War, p. 123. E. E. Dale and G. Litton, Cherokee 
Cavaliers, p. 136. Charles R. Freeman, "Battle of Honey Springs," 
pp. 154-168. Kansas Scrapbook, IV, p. 269. Connelley, Life of 
Plumb, pp. 146-149, 151. Connelley, Quantrill, p. 300. 

281 Interview with Hannah Oliver in Lawrence, Kansas. Connelley, 

Quantrill, pp. 314, 384-385. John C. Shea, Reminiscences of Quan- 
trell's Raid, p. 20. The raid's destination was disclosed to the men at 
8 p.m., according to Henry E. Palmer, "Lawrence Raid," p. 318. 
Estimates of the number of Quantrill's raiders vary from three 
to six hundred. Note Connelley, Life of Plumb, p. 154. Albert R. 
Greene, "What I Saw of the Quantrill Raid," p. 433. Palmer, 
"Lawrence Raid," p. 317. 

^2-283 Connelley, Life of Plumb, pp. 156, 158. Leverett W. Spring, Kan- 
sas, p. 290. Hugh D. Fisher, The Gun and the Gospel, pp. 174, 176, 
185. Gregg is quoted by Connelley, Quantrill, p. 467, as saying that 
Quantrill rode a lighter-colored horse than his brown Charlie. Shea, 
Reminiscences , pp. 20, 25. 

34-285 Connelley, Quantrill, p. 344. George W. E. Griffith, "My Experi- 
ences in the Quantrill Raid" (Ms.). Fisher, Gun and Gospel, pp. 
188-190. Hannah Oliver interview. Kansas City Western Journal of 
Commerce, August 29, 1863. Connelley, Life of Plumb, p. 157. Letter, 
Thomas Ewing, Jr., to father, August 28, 1863, Ewing Papers. 

286 Daniel Geary, "War Incidents," p. 284. Greene, "What I Saw," 

p. 436. Shea, Reminiscences, pp. 6, 24. Western Journal of Com- 
merce, August 29, 1863. Connelley, Life of Plumb, p. 159. Connel- 
ley, Quantrill, p. 430. Spring, Kansas, pp. 287, 292, 296. John N. 
Edwards, Shelby and His Men, p. 400. John Speer, Life of James H. 

39° NOTES 

Lane, p. 315. Theophilus F. Rodenbough, From Everglade to Canon, 
p. 22. 

287 Shea, Reminiscences, pp. 8, 9. 0. R., I, XXII, pt. 1, p. 592. Palmer, 
"Lawrence Raid," p. 194. Western Journal of Commerce, August 29, 
1863. The recorded account has been put in direct vernacular quota- 

288 Connelley, Life of Plumb, p. 165. Western Journal of Commerce, 
August 29, 1863. Greene, "What I Saw," p. 439. Ewing reported in 
0. R., I, XXII, pt. 1, p. 579. 

289 Greene, "What I Saw," p. 447. Los Angeles Star, December 19, 
1863. St. Louis Daily Missouri Republican, September 16, 1863. St. 
Joseph Morning Herald, September 1, 1863. Western Journal of 
Commerce, September 5, 12, 1863. Chicago Tribune, June 5, 8, 1863. 
New York World, June 9, 1863. Caroline Abbot Stanley, Order 
No. 11, A Tale of the Border, demonstrates this sentiment in fiction 
after a reaction had occurred. Thomas Ewing, Jr., to father, Au- 
gust 28, September 22, 1863, Ewing Papers. 


Baxter Springs 

290 O. R., I, XXII, pt. 2, p. 411. Letter, Phillips to Ewing, Septem- 

ber 1, 1863, Tx. Letter, Blunt to Lincoln, September 24, 1863, Lin- 
coln Papers. O. R., I, XXII, pt. 2, p. 411. Annie Heloise Abel, Amer- 
ican Indian as Participant, p. 295. James G. Blunt, "Account of 
Civil War Experiences," p. 247. Samuel J. Crawford, Kansas in the 
Sixties, pp. 97, 99. United States Indian Office, Report of the Com- 
missioner . . . 1865, p. 322. David Y. Thomas, Arkansas, p. 225. 

291-293 John G. Nicolay and John Hay, Abraham Lincoln, VIII, p. 215. 
Tyler Dennett, Lincoln and the Civil War, pp. 97, 108. Roy P. 
Basler, ed., Collected Wor\s of Abraham Lincoln, VI, pp. 499-504. 
Sacramento Union, November 4, 1863, quoting St. Louis Daily Mis- 
souri Republican, October 14, 1863. Letter, Samuel Curtis to brother, 
February 20, 1864, Curtis Papers, CSmH. Blunt, "Account of Ex- 
periences," p. 248. Letter, Milo Gookins to W. P. Dole, March 8, 
1864, DNA. Letter, Curtis to brother, February 20, 1864, Curtis 
Papers, CSmH. 

NOTES 391 

294-295 William E. Connelley, Quantrill, pp. 425, 430. O. R., I, XXII, pt. 2, 
pp. 595-597 and XLI, pt. 2, pp. 727-729. E. A. Calkins, "Wisconsin 
Cavalry Regiments," pp. 173-193. Letter, Ewing to Jennison, No- 
vember 25, 1863, DLC. Fort Smith New Era, October 8, Novem- 
ber 14, 1863. Basler, Collected Wor\s, pp. 543-544. John M. Scho- 
field, Forty-six Years in the Army, p. 105. 

296-297 Thomas, Arkansas, p. 229. Schofield, Forty-six Years, p. 101. 
Cherokee Nation, Minute-book of Executive Department, Octo- 
ber 24, November 3, 1863. E. E. Dale and G. Litton, Cherokee 
Cavaliers, pp. 144-145. Mollie Ross, Life and Times of Hon. Wil- 
liam P. Ross, p. viii. O. R., I, XXII, pt. 1, pp. 781-782, pt. 2, pp. 246, 
722, 752, 1094; I, XXXIV, pt. 2, pp. 188, 928. Chicago Tribune, 
December 21, 22, 27, 1863. Letter from George Bent to Hyde, No- 
vember 16, 1904, Bent Correspondence. 


Lincoln's Re-election Campaign on the Border 

298 Harrison Hannahs, "General Thomas Ewing, Jr.," pp. 278-280. 
Letter, Thomas Ewing, Jr., to wife, April 10, 15, May 11, 1864, 
Ewing Papers. 

299 David Y. Thomas, Arkansas, p. 254. Letter, W. G. Coffin to 
W. P. Dole, January 6, 1864, Tx. United States Indian Office, Report 
of the Commissioner . . . 1865, p. 317. Emporia News, May 14, 
1864. Fort Smith New Era, May 21, June 11, 1864. Letter, W. L. G. 
Mills to Secretary of Interior, April 23, 1864, DNA. 

300-301 Letter, Coffin to Dole, May 28, June 7, 16, 1864; Stanton to 
Usher, May 26, 1864; both Tx. United States Indian Office, Report 
of the Commissioner . . . 1864, pp. 31, 303. Letter, Coffin to Dole, 
June 7, 1864, Tx. United States Indian Office, Report of the Com- 
missioner . . . 1864, pp. 38, 337, 340-342. Letter, Henry Smith to 
Dole, June 6, 1864, Tx. General Order No. 47, May 13, 1864, Phillips 

302 G. W. Grayson, "Red Paths and White" (Ms.), pp. 99-108. Fort 

Smith New Era, June 18, 1864. O. R., I, XXXIV, pt. 1, pp. 1011- 
1013, pt. 4, pp. 686-687; II, IV, pp. 417, 621. Samuel J. Crawford, 
Kansas in the Sixties, p. 137. Telegrams, Livingston to Dodge, Feb- 
ruary 9, 1864; Dodge, Sr., to Dodge, Jr., September 1, 1864; both in 

3<?2 NOTES 

Dodge Papers. White Cloud Chief, September i, 1864. Emporia 
News, May 26, July 2, 23, 30, September 10, 1864. United States In- 
dian Office, Report of the Commissioner . . . 1864, p. 1. William E. 
Connelley, Life of Preston B. Plumb, p. 193. 

303 White Cloud Chief, June 4, 1863. Joe Medill to Washburne, Febru- 
ary 12, 1864, Washburne Papers. White Cloud Chief, June 2, Au- 
gust 11, 1864. Other escapades with women are cited in the Chief, 
August 4, 1864. 

304 Kansas Scrapbook, Biography, IV, p. 282. W. A. Stoddard, "Story 
of a Nomination," p. 272. Leverett W. Spring, "Career of a Kansas 
Politician," p. 103. Fort Smith New Era, July 23, 1864. White Cloud 
Chief, June 9, 1864. 

305 Report of Brigadier General Thayer, August 10, 1864, Tx. Em- 
poria News, August 6, September 3, 1864. Leavenworth Daily Con- 
servative, November 8, 1864. White Cloud Chief, October 13, 1864. 
United States Indian Office, Report of the Commissioner . . . 1864, 
p. 33. Leavenworth Times, August 25, September 14, 1864. Emporia 
News, September 10, 1864. St. Louis Daily Missouri Republican, 
September 4, 1864. White Cloud Chief, August 18, September 22, 
1864. Letter, Smith Christie to John Ross, August 19, 1864, Phillips 

306 Fort Smith New Era, November 5, 1864. Crawford, Kansas in 

the Sixties, p. 200. White Cloud Chief, September 22, 1864. Leaven- 
worth Times, September 4, 1864. Letters, Thomas Ewing, Jr., to 
wife, August 21, 28, September 22, 1864, Ewing Papers. Letter, 
Lanigan to Col. Johnson, June 17, 1864, MoSHi. Cincinnati Com- 
mercial, October 28, 1864. Thomas C. Fletcher, "Batde of Pilot 
Knob," p. 30. John B. Sanborn, "Campaign in Missouri," p. 138. 


Cabin Creek and Pilot Knob 

307 0. R., I, XLI, pt. 1, p. 781. G. W. Grayson, "Red Paths and 

White" (Ms.), pp. 109-114, 116-119. Clarksville Standard, Septem- 
ber 3, 1864. Watie's accomplishments are listed in 0. R~, I, XLI, 
pt. 1, p. 792. 

notes 393 

308 Grayson, "Red Paths," pp. 118, 143. Clarksville Standard, Octo- 
ber 15, 1864. Watie reported eighty-five prisoners, in 0. R., I, XLI, 
pt. 1, pp. 766-769. See also I, XLI, pt. 1, pp. 785-786. 

309 "Indian-Pioneer History" (Ms.), LXXXI, pp. [81], 429; C, pp. 
427-431. Grayson, "Red Paths," pp. 123, 126. Clarksville Standard, 
October 15, 1864. Letter, Peck to Haines, September 23, 1864, Dodge 
Papers. Clarksville Standard, October 8, 1864. Fort Smith New Era, 
October 1, 1864. Watie's, Gano's, and Hopkins's reports are printed 
in O. R., I, XLI, pt. 1, pp. 766-769, 784-791. United States Indian 
Office, Report of the Commissioner . . . 1865, p. 276. 

310 Grayson, "Red Paths," p. 129. Telegram, Fuller to Dole, n.d., Tx. 
Telegram, Cutter to Dole, October 13, 1864, Tx. Wilfred R. Hollis- 
ter and Harry Norman, Five Famous Missourians, p. 367. H. H. 
Crittenden, Battle of Westport, p. 34. 

311 * Grayson, "Red Paths," pp. 265-266. Hollister and Norman, Five 

Famous Missourians, p. 367. Samuel J. Crawford, Kansas in the 
Sixties, p. 136. David Y. Thomas, Arkansas, p. 286. St. Louis Daily 
Missouri Republican, September 27, 28, 1864. Annie Heloise Abel, 
American Indian as Participant, p. 332. Thomas, Arkansas, p. 287. 
Cincinnati Commercial, October 28, 1864. Clarksville Standard, 
June 16, 1862. New Orleans Picayune, December 3, 1861. Leaven- 
worth Democratic Standard, October 12, 1883. 0. R., I, XLI, pt. 1, 
p. 446, pt. 3, p. 683. Thomas C. Fletcher, "Battle of Pilot Knob," 
p. 34. Soldier's Letter (newspaper), I, No. 16, September 27, 1864. 

312 Harrison Hannahs, "General Thomas Ewing, Jr.," picture, p. 153. 
St. Louis Globe-Democrat, May 14, September 4, 1882. Albert D. 
Richardson, Garnered Sheaves, p. 153. David Murphy, "My Recol- 
lections of Pilot Knob" (Ms.). Fletcher, "Battle of Pilot Knob," 
p. 39, edited. New Yor\ Herald, February 2, 1896. 

313 Letter, William G. Hazen to brother, 1864. St. Louis Daily Mis- 
souri Democrat, October 3, 1864. White Cloud Chief, October 6, 

314-315 0. R., I, XLI, pt. 1, p. 448. Soldiers Letter (newspaper), I, Nos. 
16, 17. New Yor\ Herald, February 2, 1896. Letter, Hazen to 
brother, 1864. Cincinnati Commercial, Opteber 28, 1864. St. Louis 

394 NOTES 

Globe-Democrat, April 4, 1897. Letter, "Ellen" to Thomas Ewing, 
Jr., October 7, 1864, Ewing Papers. Hannahs, "General Ewing, Jr.," 
p. 280. 



316-317 Kansas City Journal, October 26, 1902. Wilfred R. Hollister and 
Harry Norman, Five Famous Missourians, pp. 367, 396. St. Louis 
Daily Missouri Republican, November 5, 1864. William E. Con- 
nelley, Quantrill, p. 449. Cloyd Bryner, Bugle Echoes, p. 148. H. H. 
Crittenden, Memoirs, p. 345. Mary G. C. Gordon, diary (Ms.), Oc- 
tober 7, 1864. John N. Edwards, Shelby and His Men, p. 434. 

318 Kansas City Western Journal of Commerce, October 8, 1864. 
W. A. Neal, Illustrated History of the Missouri Engineer, p. 150. 
Gordon, diary (Ms.), October 7, 1864. 


319 Charles H. Lothrop, History of the First Regiment Iowa Cavalry, 
pp. 193-194, states that Jesse was not present. Frank James, an eye- 
witness, states that he was. Crittenden, Memoirs, pp. 336, 339, 345. 
Connelley, Quantrill, p. 453. 


The Eve of Austerlitz 

320 0. R., I, XLI, pt. 1, p. 654. Interview with Thompson's daughter, 
Marcie Bailey, St. Joseph. Little Rock Arkansas Patriot, August 11, 
1863. St. Louis Daily Missouri Republican, August 27, 1863. Fort 
Smith New Era, November 28, 1863. St. Joseph Morning Herald, 
February 5, August 27, 30, 1863. Cincinnati Commercial, Octo- 
ber 28, 1864. John B. Sanborn, "Campaign in Missouri," pp. 146- 
147, 157. Cloyd Bryner, Bugle Echoes, p. 146. Richard Walsh, May- 
ing of Buffalo Bill, p. 85. 

321 Mary G. C. Gordon, diary (Ms.), October 7, 1864. J. H. P. Baker, 
diary (Ms.), October 4, 5, 1864. Sanborn, "Campaign in Missouri," 
p. 157. Eli G. Foster, Civil War by Campaigns, p. 66. Wilfred R. 
Hollister and Harry Norman, Five Famous Missourians, p. 365. 

322 St. Louis Globe-Democrat, April 4, 1897. Henry E. Palmer, "Sol- 
diers of Kansas," pp. 433, 437. Gordon, diary (Ms.), October 9, 20, 

notes 395 

25, 1864. 0. R., I, XLI, pt. 1, p. 655. David Y. Thomas, Arkansas, 
p. 287. John N. Edwards, Shelby and His Men, p. 398. On p. 471, 
Edwards prints Governor Reynolds's account. Charles H. Lothrop, 
History of First . . . Iowa Cavalry, p. 194. Cincinnati Commercial, 
October 28, 1864. St. Louis Daily Missouri Democrat, October 10, 
1864. Frank Moore, Anecdotes, Poetry and Incidents, p. 180. 

323 Gordon, diary (Ms.), October 19, 1864. Boonville Weekly Adver- 
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of Commerce, November 3, 1864. Kansas City Journal, October 17, 

26, 1901. John Speer, Life of James H. Lane, pp. 286, 292, 333. 
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White Cloud Chief, August 11, 1864. Letter, John N. Moulton to 
Elizabeth Jane Martin, September 20, 1864, MoSHi. Kansas Scrap- 
book, Biography, IV, p. 62. 

324 Speer, Life of Lane, pp. 285-287, 292-294. White Cloud Chief, 
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p. 181. Baker, diary (Ms.), October 18, 19, 1864. St. Louis Globe- 
Democrat, April 4, 1897. Soldier's Letter (newspaper), I, No. 20. 
Western Journal of Commerce, December 31, 1864. O. R., I, XLI, 
pt. 1, p. 656. "Campaign against Sterling Price," Philadelphia 
Weekly Times, August 7, 1881. 

325-326 Sanborn, "Campaign in Missouri," pp. 151, 171. Western Journal 
of Commerce, November 3, 1864. [Hinton], Rebel Invasion, p. 105. 
Baker, diary (Ms.), October 20, 21, 1864. Clad Hamilton, "A Colo- 
nel of Kansas," p. 286. John F. Phillips, "Diary," October 20-21, 
1864. Leavenworth Daily Conservative, November 27, 1864. Soldier's 
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p. 73. W. L. Webb, Battles and Biographies of Missourians, p. 342. 
William H. Schrader, "Reminiscences" (Ms.), p. 24. 

327-328 Western Journal of Commerce , December 31, 1864. O. R., I, XLI, 
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Blue of the Second Regiment, K.S.M. Kansas City Journal, Octo- 
ber 17, 1901. Kansas City Star, May 19, 1888. H. H. Crittenden, 
Battle of Westport, p. 35. Phillips, "Diary," October 23, 1864. 

39^ NOTES 


The Battle of Westport 

3 2 9~33° William E. Connelley, Life of Preston B. Plumb, pp. 187-189. 
H. H. Crittenden, Battle of Westport, p. 38. John Speer, Life of 
fames H. Lane, p. 288. Richard J. Hinton, "Pens That Made Kansas 
Free," p. 374. Samuel J. Reader, diary (Ms.), October 13-21, 1864. 
St. Louis Globe-Democrat, April 4, 1897. Samuel }. Crawford, Kan- 
sas in the Sixties, p. 148. 

33 I_ 333 Crawford, Kansas in the Sixties, p. 149. Letter, William G. Hazen 
to brother, 1864. Paul B. Jenkins, Battle of Westport, p. 82. Crit- 
tenden, Battle of Westport, pp. 38-40. John F. Phillips, "Diary," Oc- 
tober 23, 1864, 

334~335 Crittenden, Battle of Westport, pp. 45-46. Jenkins, Battle of West- 
port, pp. 95, 104, 127. O. R., I, XLI, pt. 1 — Reports, p. 486. St. 
Louis Globe-Democrat, April 4, 1899. Stephen H. Ragan, "Battle 
of Westport," p. 263. 

336 Crittenden, Battle of Westport, pp. 45, 60. [R. J. Hinton], Rebel 

Invasion of Missouri, p. 161. 0. R., I, XLI, pt. 1, p. 659. Kansas City 
Star, June 19, 1932, January 23, 1938. Kansas City Post, August 2, 
1925. Wilfred R. Hollister and Harry Norman, Five Famous Mis- 
sourians, p. 370. Ragan, "Battle of Westport," p. 265. John B. San- 
born, "Campaign in Missouri," p. 184. Kansas City Native Sons 
Scrapbook, II, p. 81. Ewing Papers, October 24, 1864. 


Retreat from Moscow 

337 John B. Sanborn, "Campaign in Missouri," p. 185. John Speer, 
Life of James H. Lane, p. 298. St. Louis Globe-Democrat, April 4, 
1897. Kansas City Western Journal of Commerce, December 31, 
1864. Soldier's Letter (newspaper), I, No. 42. 

338 J. H. P. Baker, diary (Ms.), October 24, 1864. Sanborn, "Campaign 
in Missouri," pp. 186, 193-194. Samuel J. Crawford, Kansas in the 
Sixties, pp. 158, 160. Tope\a Mail, March 3, 1899. Eli G. Foster, 
Civil War by Campaigns, p. 66. St. Louis Globe-Democrat, April 4, 

notes 397 

1897. David Y. Thomas, Arkansas, p. 289. John F. Phillips, "Diary," 
October 25, 1864. 

339 Letter, J. S. Williams to W. Stevens, April 4, 1921, MoSHi. O. R., 
I, XLI, pt. 1, pp. 335, 636-637. Phillips, "Diary," October 25, 1864. 
Forth Smith New Era, November 26, 1864. Western Journal of 
Commerce, November 3, 1864. Leavenworth Conservative, Novem- 
ber 27, 1864. Soldier's Letter (newspaper), I, No. 31. Thomas C. 
Fletcher, "Battle of Pilot Knob," p. 242. 

340 St. Louis Globe-Democrat, April 4, 1897. Soldier's Letter (news- 
paper), I, No. 31. Letter, Samuel Curtis to brother, December 12, 
1864, Curtis Papers, CSmH. Western Journal of Commerce, No- 
vember 3, 1864. Letter, Hawkins Taylor to Grenville M. Dodge, De- 
cember 19, 1864, Dodge Papers. Crawford, Kansas in the Sixties, 
p. 175. 

341 O. R., I, XLI, pt. 1, p. 66, pt. 4, pp. 1013-1014. Letter, William G. 
Hazen to brother, 1864. Western Journal of Commerce, Novem- 
ber 3, 1864. Baker, diary (Ms.), October 25, 26, 1864. R. L. Brown 
and A. T. Irwine, "Army Journal" (Ms.), October 26, 1864. Fort 
Smith New Era, November 12, 1864. Crawford, Kansas in the Six- 
ties, pp. 171, 202. Speer, Life of Lane, pp. 290, 299. Letter of D. C. 
Nettleton in Annals of Kansas City, I, No. 3, pp. 272-273. Soldier's 
Letter (newspaper), I, Nos. 32, 34, 42. Sanborn, "Campaign in Mis- 
souri," pp. 171, 200. 

342 Letter, Samuel Curtis to brother, December 12, 1864, Curtis Papers, 
CSmH. Soldier's Letter (newspaper), I, No. 40. Letter, Hazen to 
brother, 1864. Brown, "Army Journal" (Ms.), November 1, 5, 1864. 
Letter of Nettleton in Annals, pp. 272-273. 

343 Brown and Irwine, "Army Journal" (Ms.), November 10, 17, 
1864. Letter, Hazen to brother, 1864. Sanborn, "Campaign in Mis- 
souri," p. 201. Baker, diary (Ms.), October 31, November 3-4, 1864. 
John N. Edwards, Shelby and His Men, p. 467. Thomas, Arkansas, 
p. 291. Letter, Samuel Curtis to Grenville M. Dodge, December 14, 
1864, IaDH. 

344-345 George Hyde, "Life of George Bent" (Ms.), Chap. V. pp. 6-9, 
CoD. Letter, Samuel Curtis, dated January 7, 1864, Curtis Papers, 

398 NOTES 

CsmH. J. T. Granger, Brief Biographical Sketch of . . . Major- 
General Grenville M. Dodge, p. 20. William E. Connelley, Quan- 
trill, p. 457. 



346 Kansas City Western Journal of Commerce, January 7, March 25, 
1865. Roy P. Basler, ed., Collected Wor\s of Abraham Lincoln, 
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Crittenden, Memoirs, p. 260. William E. Connelley, Quantrill, pp. 
465, 475. St. Louis Post-Dispatch, February 9, 1930. 

347 Little Rock Arkansas Patriot, June 30, 1863. John N. Edwards, 
Shelby and His Men, p. 538. William W. Heartsill, Fourteen Hun- 
dred and 91 Days, p. 24. Richmond Southern Opinion, September 7, 
1867. David Y. Thomas, Arkansas, pp. 310, 314. Western Journal 
of Commerce, June 13, 1865. 

348-349 Letter, D. H. Cooper to Stand Watie, April 21, 1865, Phillips Col- 
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States Indian Office, Report of the Commissioner . . . 1865, p. 245. 
Edwards, Shelby, pp. 545-550. Charles Edward Nash, Biographical 
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350-351 William E. Woodruff, With the Light Guns, p. 47. Leavenworth 
Times, May 13, June 10, July 11, 1875. United States Biographical 
Dictionary, Kansas Volume, pp. 61-63. Interview with J. M. Mickey, 
who wrote editorials for Anthony. Noble L. Prentis, Kansas Miscel- 
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